Elderly Sexual Abuse

Until recently, the matter of care for the elder citizens was a priority matter of discussion in just a few countries in the world. However great strides have been witnessed and more and more countries are taking action to protect their elder citizens with laws. A heinous issue that pops up when it comes to the care and protection mechanisms of the elderly is that of sexual abuse in the nursing homes, mostly done by the nurses. The elderly persons are vulnerable and at the mercy of their caregivers. Without supervision, untrustworthy caregivers may take advantage of the vulnerability of the elder persons and commit the atrocity (Rossenfeld, 2016). This kind of crime is among the least reported, detected and least avowed. In some countries, such as US thousands of elderly persons have been subjected to this ordeal. For this reasons, it has become difficult for the law to deal with elders’ sexual offenders as illustrated in a report by Medicaid Fraud which showed that out of all sexual offenders who were convicted criminals, only a quarter were sent to prison. State laws often do not prosecute offenders because the nursing homes have other ways of preventing abuses by transferring the abused persons to other facilities, providing psychological and physical treatment, relocating the abusers and providing them with psychological treatment. Another major reason for failure to prosecute is the insufficiency of evidence and the inability of most victims to participate in the court hearings as the best evidence to prosecute the perpetrator is always from the victim (Hawks, 2006). As for some victims, health condition will not allow their testimony to be admissible in court.

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A convention would ensure that the elderly are viewed as rights holders and not just social welfare concerns who need protection. Government allocation of resources would be increased to the elderly including better training to the personnel who take care of the personal issues concerning the elderly people. The elderly’s human rights would be represented locally regionally and internationally (Marthe Fredvang, 2012).



Hawks, R. A. (2006). Grand Parent Molesting : SexualAbuse of Elderly Nursing Home Residents and Its Prevention. In R. A. Hawks, Marquette Elder’s Advisor (Vol. 8, pp. 159-197). Retrieved from http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/elders

Marthe Fredvang, S. B. (2012, August). The Rights Of Older Person | Protection And Gaps Under Human Rights Law. The center For Public Policy, 1-21. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from www.public-policy.unimelb.edu.au

Rossenfeld, J. (2016, july 18). Judge Goes Above and Beyond inSentesing Nursinng Home Rapist. Retrieved March 3, 2017, from Nursing Home Law Center: https://www.nursinghomelawcenter.org/sexual-abuse/judge-goessententsing-nursing-home-rapist