Group homes for the mentally challenged are required by Minnesota to “protect adults who, because of…mental disability…are particularly vulnerable to maltreatment”.
Persons with such developmental disabilities are at a much greater rate of sexual abuse than the general population.
Mentally challenged persons oftentimes lack communication skills as well as the ability to protect themselves due to a lack of instruction and impaired judgment. Further, individuals with mental retardation may be more inclined to give and receive affection, which can be exploited by predators as either a sign of abuse or vulnerability.
As a result, it is estimated that between 15,000 and 19,000 individuals with developmental disabilities are sexually abused each year in the United States.
It is unlikely that a person with developmental deficiencies has the ability to stop and report any ongoing sexual abuse:
They may not be able to tell the difference between a “safe” versus “unsafe” individual;
- They may not know how to decline sexual advances;
- They may not know that sexually abusive acts are in fact wrong and illegal; or
- They may be fearful or unwilling to discuss abusive acts
Further, the risk of sexual abuse in an institutional setting such as group homes is between two and four times higher than individuals in the community.
The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care, including the failure to protect vulnerable adults from sexual abuse. If your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.