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Sexual Abuse

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Margaret, 77, lived in a nursing home that was known for good residential care. One day, a nursing aide noticed that Margaret appeared anxious, but Margaret would not explain why. While preparing her for a bath, the nursing aide saw multiple bruises on Margaret's arms, neck and back and asked what happened. Initially, Margaret did not say anything. Subsequently, the director of nursing learned from another resident that a new aide had sexually assaulted Margaret. As required by law, the director of nursing reported the sexual assault to Adult Protective Services (APS), and APS initiated an investigation, involving the Ombudsman and local law enforcement.

Eduardo, 80, had a stroke. His family hired an in-home caregiver to assist with his daily needs such as bathing and going to the toilet. One day his daughter stopped by to help see her dad. As she helped him get dressed, he winced, and she noticed that his genital area was red and irritated. Her father started to cry and mumbled something about the caregiver hurting him there. The daughter immediately called Adult Protective Services (APS) to make a report. She also called the agency where the caregiver worked, made a complaint, and ended services. APS alerted the law enforcement.

Pearl, 70, took her nephew in when his mother could not handle his behavior problems. The nephew began viewing pornography on the TV that he shared with his aunt. Pearl was uncomfortable about this and told her nephew to stop. One day, the nephew came home and was high on drugs. He forced himself sexually upon his aunt. Pearl called 911 for local law enforcement and went to the hospital where she met with a sexual assault victim specialist.

Angela, 71, required guardianship because of her continued alcohol and drug abuse. The court appointed Richard as her guardian. Soon after his appointment, he gave Angela more drugs, sexually assaulted her, and threatened her with prison for her drug use if she reported him. Angela summoned the courage to go the local police and contacted a lawyer to obtain a new guardian.


Did This Happen to You or Someone You Know?


  1. Has anyone forced you to have sexual intercourse or oral sex if you did not want to?
  2. Has anyone touched you in a sexual way or forced you to touch them in a sexual way against your will?
  3. Has anyone made you undress or expose yourself when you didn’t want to?
  4. Has anyone taken pictures of you with your clothes partially or completely off when you didn’t want them to?
  5. Has anyone talked to you in a sexual way that made you feel uncomfortable?
  6. Has anyone made you watch pornography against your will?

Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse Include:


  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area
  • Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Changes in a older adult's demeanor, such as showing fear or becoming withdrawn when a specific person is around
  • Evidence of pornographic material being shown to a older adult with diminished capacity
  • Blood found on sheets, linens or a older adult’s clothing
  • An elder's report of being sexually assaulted or raped