Although sexual abuse is more common against children, any person can become a victim. Any unwanted sexual activity from one person against other that uses force, threats, or taking advantage of another person can be considered sexual abuse. In Massachusetts, as well as across the entire country, sexual abuse is a crime regardless of whether a victim and the perpetrator know each other.
It is important to understand what sexual abuse toward an adult is and what you can do as a victim to this type of abuse.
What is Adult Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse toward an adult can be physical or non-physical. In general, it includes any type of abuse where a person exerts power or dominance over another adult that is harmful and/or exploitative. Abuse toward an adult can be a one-time event or it can take place over an extended period.
When sexual abuse is perpetrated against a vulnerable adult, anyone can be the actor. There are many instances where instances of abuse are reported against relatives, partners, friends, home healthcare workers, nursing home staff, and even in-home care providers. This type of abuse can be committed by a single actor or by a group of individuals against one victim.
Are Certain Adults More Vulnerable to Sexual Abuse?
Although any person can become a victim of sexual abuse, there are certain adults who may be targeted by abusers due to their vulnerability. A vulnerable adult tends to be one who is unable to protect themselves or care for themselves. These people are not typically able to protect themselves from significant harm due to mental or physical limitations.
These victims can be those with physical disabilities, mental health disorders, learning disabilities, and more. Generally, any adult who is unable to prove that they are capable of making decisions for themselves may be targeted.
Why Are Vulnerable Adults Targeted More Often?
There are several reasons why these victims may be targeted by perpetrators of sexual abuse. One of the main reasons is that a lot of these victims lack mobility. Elderly individuals and physically disabled adults may be immobile and unable to escape their abusers. Not having mobility and freedom can prohibit victims from speaking up about being abused as well.
There are also instances where people are targeted by abusers due to the fact that they may not know that sexual contact is inappropriate. Adults with mental disabilities may not be familiar with the type of acts they are subjected to. This makes it easier for perpetrators to take advantage of them.
Adult Victims Need to Speak Out
No matter what age you are, if you are sexually abused you deserve justice. Victims can take a civil approach toward getting justice. By speaking with a sexual abuse lawyer in Massachusetts, you can discuss what happened to you in order to get justice.
If you were sexually abused by another person, you must take action. Our Massachusetts sexual abuse lawyer at The Law Office of Carmen L. Durso is here to help you pursue legal action against those who caused you harm. Contact our law firm today at 617-728-9123 to schedule a case review with our team to discuss the legal options available for you.