Mental Health Facility Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Pennsylvania
Individuals suffering from mental illness should never feel unsafe while undergoing treatment at a healthcare facility.
Unfortunately, some mental health patients suffer sexual abuse at the hands of other patients or by hospital staff. Because mental health patients are vulnerable and typically need help completing routine tasks, employees or other patients may take advantage of such individuals and abuse them physically or sexually.
Due to the stigma surrounding mental illness in America, many abused patients feel alone or abandoned. Some are frightened or unable to speak out.
If you believe someone you love is the victim of sexual abuse at a mental health facility in Pennsylvania, nationally acclaimed civil rights firm, Andreozzi & Foote, PC, is ready to advocate for their rights.
Sexual Abuse Of Patients By Other Patients
Sexual abuse of patients by patients is a very serious and real problem that must be addressed in America’s mental health facilities. Across the country, many institutions still follow a mixed-sex ward setup — men and women are housed together.
While adopting single sex wards exclusively will not eradicate sexual abuse among patients, it will undoubtedly reduce the number of instances.
The mental health charity MIND published a policy paper titled Stress on Women in 1992 that looked at the issues female mental patients faced on a regular basis and published the recount of one patient:
If you or a loved one has suffered sexual abuse while under the supervision of a mental hospital, do not remain silent. You are a victim, and you have rights.
Psychiatric Sex Abuse Increase
One of the primary reasons sexual abuse in mental institutions is increasing is due to inadequate supervision. The number of patients in a mental health facility can vary at any given time.
However, because of the pandemic, and other circumstances, many institutions are seeing a sudden increase in patients. Yet the number of staff, orderlies, and nurses, often remains the same.
At the end of the day, it is a matter of simple math — there are not enough trained staff to watch the number of patients. Factor in the reality that many mental health institutions conduct their own internal investigations, and it is easy to see why sexual abuse not only persists but is increasing.