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Apr 15, 2017 09:08 PM EDT

Sexual Assault is Prevalent in Nursing Homes; Issue Remains Ignored [VIDEO]


According to a new study, sexual assault is prevalent in nursing homes. However, this issue has been very under-reported to the point of being ignored. Moreover, white females suffering mental and physical conditions are more likely to be victims, since they are the most vulnerable.

The study, published in "The Gerontologist" found that these sexual assaults happen because legal examinations aren't done regularly due to administration complexities, Eureka Alert reported. Training and institutional policy in these nursing homes are also major problems that propagate the cases of sexual assaults. Ultimately, nursing homes are not equipped adequately to stop these sexual assaults.

Sexual assaults are among the most severe cases against residents of nursing homes. However, it is also the least detected, reported, and acknowledged type of problem in this institution. The study observed 15 past studies in peer-reviewed journals that focus on the topic of sexual assaults on nursing home residents.

The study found that the victims are white females with physical or cognitive conditions, while the perpetrators are predominantly white male residents, Nursing Times reported. Sexual assaults carried out by staff members were also substantial. The paper aims to study the relationship characteristics between the victim and the perpetrator.

The study also wants to shed light on the forensic characteristics of these cases of sexual assaults including their type, legal outcomes, examination process, and the preventive measures done. The study suggests that nursing home staff should have more training to help them identify and handle these sexual assault cases. The study's authors said there is a gap in knowledge about sexual assaults, which is why staff should be trained.

According to Monash University's Daisy Smith, who is also the lead author, there is a lot more that is needed to be done for those that are most vulnerable in these nursing homes. Regulatory investigative personal doesn't have the right resources to properly identify and handle these cases of sexual assaults in nursing homes, said Smith.

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