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Attorneys Protecting Victims' Rights After Sexual Abuse In A Psychiatric Facility

Psychiatric Sexual Abuse Lawyers Against Patient Assault

Psychiatric treatment centers are intended to help the mentally ill cope with their conditions and, if possible, begin to recover. Unfortunately, not all of these facilities provide the nurturing environment that psychiatric patients need. The dangers of sexual abuse and assault are made worse by the fact that, in many cases, both women and men are housed together in the same treatment facilities.

These patients are vulnerable and are often unable to complete their daily routine tasks without the assistance of others. Occasionally, an employee or a fellow patient will prey on this vulnerability by sexually assaulting or abusing a patient.

If you or a loved one have found yourself in this position, the attorneys at Abuse Guardian are here to help. Meet our sexual abuse attorneys: helping victims of child sex assault. 

"Our alliance has over 15 sexual abuse lawyers nationwide dedicated to helping survivors get justice" 
- Brian Kent, Esq.

In any mental health center, close supervision of patients is extremely important. But in mixed-gender facilities, it's especially important for qualified staff members to keep a watchful eye on patients. Related: security company sexual assault lawsuits.

Sexual Abuse Of Patients By Other Patients In Psychiatric Facilities

In 2003, an 18-year old schizophrenic female patient was sexually assaulted by two male patients in the psychiatric ward of Philadelphia's Albert Einstein Medical Center. She was walking through the hallway when one of the men, who was also schizophrenic, grabbed and pulled her into his room. Somehow, no staff member noticed that such a horrible crime was taking place in the middle of the afternoon.

In Maryland in 2011, a female psychiatric patient was sexually assaulted by a male patient in a bathroom after the two left a gymnasium together, even though the staff was supposed to be supervising them. Rather than offer support for the victim, investigators repeatedly questioned and accused the victim of consenting to the sexual activity.

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Psychiatric Sex Abuse Increase: Attorneys Against Negligent Supervision Of Patients

In both of these cases, like many other cases of patient-on-patient sexual assault, inadequate supervision is to blame. Many of these institutions handle investigations internally and are quick to dismiss accusations of sexual assault. At the time, as reported by our MD sex abuse attorneys, Maryland used this internal investigation system. However, lawyers for the victim managed to negotiate with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to develop a safety and protection plan and require psychiatric evaluations for all patients.

Staff Members Sexually Abusing Patients In Mental Facilities

Staff members of psychiatric treatment centers have also been known to sexually abuse patients. In some cases, even doctors at these facilities can prey on patients to commit heinous acts of sexual assault. These predators know that patients may be powerless to speak out against the abuse and that even when they do, these accusations may be dismissed because of their mental conditions.

Abused patients are unable to leave the facility, don't have access to phones, and often are not permitted to have family visit them. They may report the abuse to another staff member, but these staff members often do not believe the allegations against their co-workers.

Sexual Assault Reports Ignored By State-Run Mental Hospitals

In 2012, California's Center for Investigative Reporting found that between 2009 and 2012, developmentally disabled patients had made 36 accusations of rape and molestation against staff in state inpatient facilities.

These complaints are handled by the Office of Protective Services. This Office did not take a single complaint seriously and did not order one forensic examination or rape kit. In cases involving developmentally disabled patients, this physical evidence is even more important because victim testimony is often seen as unreliable.

Who Will Stand Up For Victims' Rights?

It's far too common for these institutions to deny these allegations in order to protect their public image. These patients deserve to be treated with the same respect as anyone else. When another patient or staff member sexually violates them, they deserve to see their attacker punished and to be compensated for their pain and suffering.

In the past few decades, our country has allowed mental health patients to become second-class citizens. Treatment centers have been closing all over the country, and the ones that remain open are frequently underfunded and understaffed. This creates a hazardous environment for patients where predators can easily act on their evil impulses.

Civil Lawsuit Against Psychiatric Sexual Abuse

When the mental health and criminal justice systems fail these people, the civil court system can help. A lawsuit can help hold accountable the institutions which allow this abuse to happen through negligent actions, such as insufficient supervision.

Lawsuits help to raise national awareness of the problem and demand that these institutions do more to protect the people in their care. Additionally, lawsuits help victims recover the financial compensation they need after suffering such traumatic sexual assaults, including coverage for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Psychiatric treatment expenses
  • Lost wages, if applicable
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress

If you or a loved one has suffered sexual assault or sexual abuse in a mental health facility, our victims' rights lawyers are here to help. We'll gladly listen to your story in a free consultation and do all that we can to ensure that you receive the justice you deserve.

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AbuseGuardian.com is primarily sponsored by Brian D. Kent, Esq. Mr. Kent is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois. Content regarding these states has been reviewed by Mr. Kent. Content pertaining to all other states will identify the local lawyer who is part of the Abuse Guardian alliance that is responsible for that content. Abuse Guardian is an alliance of attorneys across the United States who dedicate their professional careers to representing survivors of sexual abuse and helping them get justice. This website is to be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Past settlement and verdict values are no guarantee of simlar future outcomes.Abuse Guardian is not a law firm. Abuse Guardian has a team of survivor advocates who can help connect sexual abuse survivors to members of the Abuse Guardian alliance for free legal consultations.

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