Watchdog has prepared a report highlighting the shocking number of cases of sexual harm on vulnerable residents in care homes across the UK.
A new Care Quality Commission (CQC) document has identified hundreds of incidents of alleged sexual assaults in care homes in England over a three-month period.
The report outlines a review of 899 “sexual incidents or incidents of alleged sexual abuse that took place in adult social care services – such as nursing homes, residential homes and home care services – between March and May last year.”
“Almost half were categorised as alleged sexual assault, defined as sexually touching another person without their consent. And 11% of cases were classed as exposure or nudity. Forty-seven cases of rape were reported to the watchdog and 5% of reported instances detailed cases of consensual sex.”
The report details how a care worker targeted the “most vulnerable” residents in a care home and sexually abused them. According to the report, she targeted them so that they would not be able to speak out against her. The care worker even abused an elderly lady with Alzheimer’s disease. She filmed the assaults on her mobile phone, and the report shows that she then went on to show her the videos to her boyfriend. The care worker has since been jailed.
The CQC report recommended that social care providers develop a culture whereby people and staff talk about sexuality and any concerns around safety, as it will enable people to speak out about unwanted sexual behaviour whilst in care.
The CQC’s Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Kate Terroni, said:
“Supporting people as individual’s means considering all aspects of a person’s needs, including sexuality and relationships. However, our report also shows all too starkly the other side of this – the times when people are harmed in the very place they should be kept safe.
This is utterly devastating, both for the people directly affected and their loved ones.
While we are aware that sexual incidents in care services are not common, we know from speaking to those affected that the impact and consequences can be life-changing. Their message to us is that more needs to be done to prevent sexual abuse happening. It is not good enough to put this issue in a ‘too difficult to discuss’ box. It is particularly because these topics are sensitive and complex that they should not be ignored.
We are clear that abuse in any form can never be accepted and we must act on the findings of this report to help providers and care staff protect people from sexual harm, while enabling people to continue or develop intimate relationships.”
If you have been affected by this article and would like to speak to one of our specialist abuse lawyers in confidence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can advise you on the available options for pursuing a civil damages claim. Jordans successfully represent and secure compensation for numerous victims of abuse and are experts in overcoming the particular challenges that arise in these sensitive cases. Our abuse team can be contacted free on 0800 9555 094 or 0330 300 1103.