LEWISBURG, W.Va. (WVDN) – April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the Family Refuge Center is helping to raise awareness.
Throughout the month, people across the world help raise awareness surrounding sexual violence and how to prevent it. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted.
Sexual abuse of an elderly person takes place when there is any sort of sexual contact by a perpetrator without the individual’s consent. It’s important to understand that some victims of sexual assault may be unable to give consent due to different health conditions. For elderly victims those conditions could look like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Sexual assault is defined as sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:
- Attempted rape
- Fondling or unwanted sexual touching
- Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts such as oral sex or penetrating the perpetrator’s body
- Forced to watch pornography/sexual acts
- Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape.
Often, abuse of an elderly person goes unnoticed or underreported. The victim may be unable to report due to a physical or mental disability, fear that their perpetrator may retaliate or their perpetrator may be the one who takes care of their basic needs.
For further information about Greenbrier County Elder Abuse Awareness Committee, how to become a member, or to seek services for elder abuse, contact Family Refuge Center at 304-645-6324.
To make a report of elder abuse, contact centralized intake with West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources or the crisis line 1-800-352-6513.
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