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Sexual Abuse in Care Facilities: How It Happens and What to Do About It

Abuse in a Wisconsin nursing home, assisted living facility, or community-based residential facility can take on many forms. While all types of abuse are illegal and unwarranted, sexual abuse can be one of the most devastating types of abuse that can occur in a facility.

When you have entrusted the care of your loved one to nursing home staff and other medical professionals, the discovery of sexual abuse is a complete violation of the trust that you once had. As a result, you may be unsure how you can protect your loved one if he or she must be placed in another facility in the future.

Sexual abuse can be not only physically damaging to a resident of a nursing home, but also extremely psychologically damaging. The perpetrators of such acts often prey on the most vulnerable members of our society, including those individuals who suffer from developmental disabilities, physical handicaps that leave them immobile, dementia, and other medical conditions that affect their ability to remember. The tendency of sexual predators to target these victims is no coincidence. Predators assume that there is a good chance that the abused resident will not remember the attack or abusive behavior, or will otherwise be unable to report it to loved ones or to nursing home staff.

Even if the abuse comes from another resident, and not from nursing home staff, a nursing home has a duty to provide a safe, protected, and supervised environment for all of its residents. This includes sexual abuse perpetrated on one resident by another resident. Failing to properly supervise particularly vulnerable residents, as well as any sexually aggressive or inappropriate residents, often can result in an abusive situation.

Fortunately, the law allows you to seek justice for the sexual abuse that your loved one has suffered after you entrusted his or her care to a facility. If nursing home fails to carefully and regularly monitor residents, investigate complaints of abuse, or is chronically understaffed, then the nursing home should be held accountable for its actions, or its inaction.

We are the Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers whom you can turn to if you suspect or become aware of sexual abuse with respect to your loved one. No matter how complex or difficult the situation may be, the Madison injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to advocate on behalf of your loved one and hold negligent nursing care facilities responsible for any abuse that has occurred.