Group Home Sexual Abuse
Group Home Abuses: Invisible Crimes Against the Most Vulnerable Victims
Across Washington and nationally, thousands of disabled adults live in group homes where they receive assistive services and education. But these populations are vulnerable to neglect and even abuse from their caregivers—and many victims are unable to report that abuse. The attorneys at PCVA Law are here to help hold group homes—and the state agencies that monitor them—accountable when things go wrong.
As of 2013, 20,500 people were receiving developmental disability support from the State of Washington. Another 15,100 qualified for support but were wait-listed.
At PCVA Law, we specialize in protecting and advocating for people who have been hurt by abuse or accidents. Disabled adults in group homes are among our most vulnerable populations. We are a voice for those who are voiceless.
Generally speaking, group homes provide services for adults with developmental or other disabilities who are unable to live independently. The group home and its staff may provide meals, laundry and cleaning service, medication monitoring, assistance with hygiene and basic living skills, transportation, and education services. These facilities may be transitional, for those who can learn to care for themselves, or permanent. In Washington, these homes generally provide services for two to six residents, contracted through the state Department of Disability Administration.
Families turn to group homes to provide personal care and supervision that they cannot provide themselves for their loved ones. The disabled adults who rely on group homes to manage their day-to-day life skills clearly depend on the professionalism of their caregivers. Unfortunately, this leaves them susceptible to both neglect and to abuse. Sexual predators may search out employment at facilities like group homes where they can be alone with helpless victims who cannot fight back.
Even worse, many disabled adults have significant communication deficits that make them unable to report when something is wrong. They may not be able to communicate clearly or even have the vocabulary to explain what’s happening.
While the state monitors and contracts with group home service providers, you may be dissatisfied with their response to your concerns. The attorneys at PCVA Law can help. We have sued these homes before and won—earning monetary awards that allow our clients to better provide for themselves in the future, shutting down abusive facilities, and telling the state that it must do better to protect these populations.
What Can Go Wrong? Potential Abuses at Group Homes
- Neglect, leading to bedsores and infections
- Lack of supervision and accidental injuries, including falls and burns
- Medication errors or delayed or insufficient medical treatment
- Verbal and emotional abuse, which can result in withdrawal and depression
- Physical abuse such as unnecessary restraints, slapping, hitting, and pushing
- Sexual abuse, including rape
According to the National Council on Disability, in 2009, 469,123 people received disability services while living in institutions, nursing facilities, group homes, and independently. Nearly 600,000 more people received support and services while living with their families.
If you are concerned about the care your loved one is receiving in a group home, call us. We can help you evaluate the situation and understand your options. We are experienced litigators who do not back down from a challenge. With PCVA Law, you are not alone.