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Is sexual abuse a problem in nursing homes?

In the immediate aftermath of entrusting the care of a loved one to a nursing home in Florida, stories of specific cases of nursing home abuse may have you hyper-vigilant of the potential of your family member or friend falling victim to such a problem. This may have you looking for the typical signs and symptoms of physical abuse at every visit with your loved one.

If you fail to see these, your fears regarding your family member or friend’s well-being may slowly begin to subside. Yet a lack of injuries or visible bruising may not necessarily mean your loved one is not experiencing abuse. Indeed, many nursing home residents have to endure not only the physical trauma of abuse, but also the emotional toll that may come when that abuse turns sexual.

Sexual abuse in nursing homes

You may not think that sexual abuse among nursing home residents is a serious problem. While it may not be as common as physical assaults, sexual abuse is a problem such facilities often have to deal with. Indeed, according to Nursing Home Abuse Justice, 20 years of data reveal an average of roughly 1,000 cases of such abuse reported annually. You should keep in mind, however, that even though such abuse ranks among the least reported, that does not mean that it is more common. Given the nature of such abuse (and the shame that can accompany it), many victims may fail to report it.

Signs of sexual abuse

This means that it falls to you to identify such abuse. While there may indeed be physical indicators of such abuse, more subtle signs may be a noticeable withdrawal witnessed with your loved one. Should you notice a marked change in your family member or friend’s temperament, that may be a byproduct of sexual abuse.


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