Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
As overwhelming as it sounds, the elder population in nursing homes are also vulnerable to sexual abuse. Knowing that a loved one has been a victim of such despicable acts can be emotionally stressful, but as the adult, you should be the one who is assertive enough to act accordingly.
Signs of sexual abuse
Elders are very vulnerable members of our society. Firstly, they are fragile and may be more prone to injuries. They are also physically limited to defend themselves against abusive behavior. What makes it worse is that, sometimes, they are also incapable of sharing the abusive experience to authorities or relatives because of their physical limitations.
As the person who is not physically limited, you should be the one who makes sure that your loved one is not experiencing abuse in the nursing home. Below are some of the most common signs of sexual abuse:
- Difficulty in standing, walking, or sitting
- Handprints on sensitive areas, like breasts, buttocks, and inner thighs
- Sudden emergence of sexually transmitted diseases
- Torn or bloody clothing
- Unexplained wounds, particularly in the reproductive and pelvic area
- Wounds from restraints, particularly in the wrist and ankle areas
Take note that the presence of these injuries does not automatically translate to sexual abuse. But if they are present and they are unexplained, be cautious.
Effects to victims
Aside from the physical injuries mentioned above, sexual abuse has other effects to its victims, mainly affecting their health and general enjoyment of life. The following are some of the most common effects:
- Inappropriate sexual behavior
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sudden mood changes, especially in the presence of a specific
- nursing home staff
- Suicidal tendency
- Worsening of present medical condition
- Withdrawal from social interaction