Elderly Victims of Rape
It is never the victim's fault. Sexual violence has nothing to do with what the victim should or should not have done to prevent the assault, it is entirely the fault of the attacker. If you have been a victim of sexual violence, it is important to remember that it was not your fault and you are not alone.
Sexual violence can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of their age or background. Elderly people face difficulties and obstacles in dealing with sexual assault that other people do not, including a harder time reaching out for help and healing physically and emotionally.
Many elderly citizens are victimized and abused by the very people they depend on for their physical and mental well-being. In 80 percent of sexual assaults against the elderly, the victims know their attackers.
How You Can Help
If someone you care about has been a victim of sexual violence, there are several things you can do to help.
- Check to ensure their safety.
- Believe them.
- Encourage the expression of any and all feelings, and LISTEN.
- Let them know that this was not their fault and that they are not alone.
- Help them report the crime to law enforcement.
- Make sure that they get prompt medical help.
- You can also help by gathering information and resources that can assist survivors of elder sexual abuse. Contact your local rape crisis center for information on how to help your loved one.
If you have ever been the victim of sexual violence, there is help. There are people who will listen to you and understand your experience.
Florida has laws specifically designed to protect the elderly from physical abuse and neglect. It is your right to be safe.
Report abuse of the elderly to Florida's abuse hotline at 1-800-962-2873.
In emergencies, or when you need to talk with someone in your community about safety, call the police by dialing 911.
Someone you trust may be helpful to talk to. You can also contact your local rape crisis center. They will have information and resources available to you and will help you create a healing plan that meets your individual needs.