Disabled Sexual Abuse Victims Florida Attorney
Sexual Abuse of the Mentally and Physically Disabled
Unfortunately mentally disabled or physically disabled (intellectual disabilities, communication disorders,
and behavioral disorders) adults and children often become the victims of sexual abuse. These individuals are often cared for and sexually abused in day cares
, nursing homes
, group homes
, residential care facilities
, long-term care facilities
or they fall prey to sexual abuse in their own homes.Studies
indicate that people with developmental disabilities are four to ten times more likely to have acts of violence committed against them. And many of these victims will be or have been assaulted more than once.
Having physical injuries, chronic disease, mental illness, or sensory and/or cognitive impairments puts the disabled at greater risk of being sexually assaulted by nursing home or day care staff member, another resident, a stranger or even a family member. Research suggests
that 97 to 99 percent of abusers are known and trusted by the victim who has intellectual disabilities. Often the person they rely on for personal care and aid.
Perpetrators frequently select their victims for their perceived powerlessness and vulnerability - and for their seeming limitations. Many victims are either fearful or embarrassed to admit that they were the victim of sexual abuse (forced, coerced, bribed, tricked, or manipulated into unwanted sexual contact) or have lost the ability to speak or have poor motor skills to consent to or communicate the assault. Still others lack the understanding of what happened or believe that they won’t be believed.Sexual assault and neglect is often committed by:
- Staff members, aides or volunteers of a nursing home, long-term care facility or day care
- Residents of the residential care or assisted living facility
- Medical Professionals including doctors, nurses, psychologists, therapists, etc.
- Strangers and facility vendors
- Transportation providers
- Family members or acquaintances
Sexual abuse can occur because of the institution’s or group home’s negligent hiring in that it fails to conduct background investigations
and routine follow-ups to screen employees for any history of crime or sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can also occur as a result from a care facilities understaffing or failure to properly supervise and train its employees. Sexual assault can also be due to inadequate security
, which allows strangers to enter the nursing home or care facility.
All states have laws requiring professionals, such as case managers, direct care workers, police officers and teachers to report abuse. Florida law provides a Bill of Rights
If you or a loved one is developmentally disabled and have been the victim of rape or sexual assault as a result of inadequate security, negligent hiring or other reason, contact our sexual assault and victim’s rights attorneys
to discuss your legal rights.