In our society, we try to protect those who are unable to protect themselves. The groups of people that may be most often thought of as unable to protect themselves are children and the disabled, but it is important to remember that in many cases, this is true of the elderly as well. If you have an elderly loved one who you have placed in a nursing home, or under in-home care, you know that this person needs to be protected from various forms of abuse and neglect. Of course, in most cases caregivers take their roles and responsibilities very seriously and provide wonderful, compassionate care for our elders as they enter their twilight years. Unfortunately, there are, as always, exceptions.
One form of physical abuse is sexual abuse. Colorado Statute defines sexual abuse as “subjection to nonconsensual sexual conduct or contact.” Sexual contact includes unwanted touching, sexual assault, and explicit photography. If you believe that any of these forms of sexual abuse have taken place with your elder loved one, a Boulder Elder Abuse Attorney can help you restore his or her respect and dignity.
While in many cases, victims of sexual abuse will not tell anyone that they are being abused, there are warning signs that you can look for. In the case of sexual abuse, these may include bruises in the area of the breasts or genitalia, venereal disease or genital infections, torn or blood-stained under-garments, or bleeding in the genital or anal areas.
Mandatory reporting of abuse, mistreatment, or self-neglect of elders, as of May 16, 2013, is now required in Colorado, for certain professionals and caregivers. Reports are made to a law enforcement agency not more than 24 hours after making the observation or discovery. People who do report are immune for reports made in good faith.
Sexual abuse of an elder is a very serious situation. There are many resources available to help if you believe that your family member had been a victim of this terrible crime. Rhett Meyer is a Boulder Elder Abuse Attorney who can help point you to resources to investigate your suspicions, as well as support for your family if your suspicions are confirmed. Not only can he help you report the abuse, but he can also help you work through the legal system to get your family the compensation they need to ensure that the physical and emotional recovery from this horrible crime does not become a financial burden as well. For more information and a free consultation, contact Rhett at (303) 444-1618.