Senior citizens deserve to enjoy their golden years in peace, yet many become victims of abuse. It has been estimated that approximately one in 10 seniors have suffered some form of elder abuse, including sexual abuse in nursing homes. Yet, it is difficult to determine exactly how widespread this is– because many incidents go unreported. In fact, the National Council on Aging reports that one in 14 cases of elder abuse may go unreported.


At Showard Law Firm, we look beyond these statistics to see the people behind the cases. You are never just another case at our law firm—you or a loved one are a victim who deserves justice. We bring a compassionate approach to legal advocacy. When you work with Showard Law Firm, you can rest assured that you will be fully informed at each step of the process. We will help you navigate the legal process and do everything possible to protect you or your loved one.


What is the legal definition of elderly sexual abuse?


It is often thought that sexual abuse must always involve penetration, yet this is not the case. Forcible or unwanted sexual contact is indeed a type of elderly sexual abuse. Consider the following definitions:


  • Nonconsensual kissing or touching of the breasts, genitals, buttocks, or anus
  • Rape, including oral, anal, or vaginal penetration
  • Forcing a person to disrobe in front of anyone outside of a medical setting
  • Forcing a person to watch sexual activity (e.g., pornography)
  • Watching a person undress outside of personal hygiene requirements or medical settings
  • Taking sexually explicit pictures without the person’s consent


Both men and women may be victims. The perpetrator may be a nursing home staff member, a family caregiver, or a fellow nursing home resident. Note that many seniors are incapable of giving consent. Any sexual contact with an incapacitated person is a crime.


Family members of nursing home residents should also be aware of the possibility of “harmful genital practices,” which is a type of institutional sexual abuse that may take place in long-term care facilities. It includes cleansing the genital regions with alcohol wipes, applying or inserting creams, enemas, or other hygiene products that are not needed, and inserting the fingers or any objects into the victim’s vagina or rectum.


When you meet with an attorney at Showard Law Firm, we will need to ask you some sensitive questions. Rest assured that we will strive to make the experience as comfortable for you and your loved one as possible. It is our goal to minimize our clients’ stress.


Steps for family members to take for the protection of their loved ones


The elderly are a vulnerable population, and many are unwilling or unable to speak up in their defense. Family members of nursing home residents should strive to visit their loved ones as often as possible and stay alert to potential signs of elder sexual abuse.


If you notice any possible signs that your loved one is being abused and can communicate with you, gently approach them about it. Privately, ask your family member how they acquired bruises, for example, or whether they feel safe.


Elder sexual abuse is a crime that should be reported to the authorities as soon as possible. Even if you are not confident that your loved one is being abused, you can file a police complaint– so that professionals can investigate the matter. In addition to speaking with the police about your suspicions, it is always a good idea to contact an experienced sexual abuse lawyer.


At Showard Law Firm, we are well-versed in the investigative and legal procedures for elder sexual abuse crimes. We will thoroughly investigate the situation and do everything possible to protect your family member and prevent them from being abused again. We will also work to help your loved one obtain financial compensation, which could allow you to move them to a safer facility.


Contact Showard Law Firm to discuss your legal options


Since our establishment in 2006, we have developed a reputation for compassionate advocacy and personalized client-focused services. We understand that it is not easy to discuss sexual abuse in elderly care homes. We offer a sympathetic ear within a stress-free environment, where you can learn about your legal rights and options and receive guidance on taking the next step toward pursuing justice. Contact Showard Law Firm in Tucson to request a free, confidential consultation with a compassionate attorney.


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