Charleston Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Lawyers
We Fight For You Because We Care About the Elderly in Central Illinois
There is no excuse for a caregiver to abuse or assault someone they are meant to assist. However, this happens every year in nursing homes—and some perpetrators may sexually abuse many people before they are brought to justice.
We are here to fight for those who were sexually abused while in a nursing home. Because we understand how difficult handling issues surrounding sexual abuse can be, our team exercises the utmost discretion. We also provide personal support. As a community firm, The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm cares about each of its clients as people. We are here to offer a compassionate ear and honest advice. If you are considering filing a nursing home sexual abuse lawsuit, reach out to us. We want to know how we can help.
Schedule a free and confidential consultation with The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm by calling (217) 394-5885. We have been serving clients in Central Illinois for over 25 years.
The Signs of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Because of the many barriers to reporting, it’s impossible to say how widespread the problem of nursing home sexual abuse is. However, in an in-depth investigation, CNN found that over 1,000 facilities were cited between 2013 and 2016 for negligence surrounding sexual assault. Yet, the issue is kept mostly quiet.
If your loved one is being sexually abused in a nursing home in Coles County, they may not speak up for fear of retaliation. However, family members often notice changes in a loved one’s physical wellness that may be caused by sexual abuse:
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Difficulty sitting or walking
- Torn, stained, or bloodied underclothing
- Bruises on the thighs, breasts, or in the genital area
- Unexplained genital infections or STDs
- Bleeding, pain, or irritation in the genital area
Of course, sexual assault is also a highly traumatic experience that often affects mental health. You may experience sudden changes in your loved one’s moods and behaviors, including:
- Agitation or confusion
- Becoming easily startled
- Withdrawal from social activities or hobbies
- Fear of a certain person or location
- Panic attacks
- Worsening of existing mental health conditions
It can be difficult to get a loved one to open up about sexual abuse, even after demonstrating your unconditional love and support. If you are in this situation and unsure what to do, reach out to our team. We can connect you with resources and, if we think assault is likely, launch an investigation.
Abusers and Victims in Nursing Home Settings
The most common perpetrators of nursing home sexual abuse are not staff or caregivers—they are fellow residents. Dementia can cause hypersexuality and a loss of ability to determine whether one’s actions are appropriate. However, residents may also have a history of sexual assault that started long before they started living in a nursing home. These facilities are not allowed to deny care to registered sex offenders—but that does not mean they can leave these individuals unsupervised around others.
Caregivers might also sexually abuse their patients. In nursing homes, caregivers hold most of the power: They can deny access to activities, meals, or even to a bathroom. They may not even have to speak the threat out loud. The possibility of being treated even worse can lead patients to stop resisting assault and to stay quiet about it.
Abusers can target any nursing home patient, but a review of reported sexual assaults shows they are more likely to go after vulnerable residents. Women, especially those with dementia or a disability that makes it difficult for them to move, are the most common targets. However, this does not mean a mostly healthy woman—or even a man—is automatically safe from assault. Too often, abuse survivors are overlooked because they do not fit the “type” of victim people imagine. We do not let ourselves fall into this trap.
Liability in Nursing Home Sex Abuse Cases
Whether a caregiver, staff member, or fellow resident is committing the abuse, the nursing home is likely ultimately liable. These facilities promise safety to their residents. Sexual assault is one of the most serious breaches of that promise.
In many cases, nursing home sexual assault claims are due to patients being left together involuntarily and without oversight. A caregiver may be able to intervene if they spot inappropriate sexual behavior. However, without supervision, there is no one to enforce rules. A lack of proper oversight is often to blame for caregiver abuse as well, though of course, these individuals have more agency when it comes to putting themselves in situations where they will not be caught.
Investigations of nursing homes at which sexual assault claims are reported often turn up serious systemic issues. Our Charleston nursing home sexual abuse attorneys are dedicated to doing what we can in these cases. Your lawsuit could make a difference for an entire community.
The Caring Support You Need for Nursing Home Sexual Assault Cases in Coles County
When your loved one is being abused, there is nothing more important than getting them to safety. We understand you and your family have a lot going on if you recently learned your loved one was sexually assaulted. Our team is here to help however we can. We go the extra mile to help clients so they feel informed and confident about their legal decisions. At the same time, we can take on the work of filing a lawsuit, so you can spend time with your family.
The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm is highly respected by the legal community in and around Coles County. Our firm is where other lawyers turn for help when a case is too complex or involved for them. They know we work hard and fight until the very end. If you want a lawyer who will be a tough advocate and caring partner, call us today.
Our lawyers at The Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience. Schedule a free consultation with our Charleston nursing home sexual assault lawyers today by calling (217) 394-5885.
We will fight for a just outcome on your behalf, and won’t give up in the face of difficult or unexpected challenges.
A Record of Proven Results
Over our hundred years of combined legal experience, we have recovered millions of dollars for injured clients.
Respected in Our Community
When attorneys need an attorney, they call us. Over 200 attorneys routinely refer clients to our capable & qualified team.
We genuinely care about the outcome of your case & commit to standing by your side every step of the way.
Committed to Our Clients
We pride ourselves in going the extra mile to make all of our clients feel comfortable, well-informed, and secure.
Our attorneys are committed to actively listening to our clients and to setting realistic, justifiable expectations.
“I highly recommend Bill Tapella to anyone in need of an honest hardworking attorney that can get the job done and find your closure.”- Betty “Jane” B.
“When I got hurt, I almost lost everything. Bill Tapella was there for me and helped me put my life together.”- Brenda M.
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