Is this crime one that is more or less likely to be reported? Explain.
What is the short-term impact of the crime?
What may be some long term impacts of the crime?
Who might hold the victim responsible for his/her victimization and why?
What issues may a victim advocate face when assisting a victim of this particular type of crime?
What services may be needed to assist a victim of this particular type of crime?
It was part of my childhood to be beaten so badly that my eyes would be swollen shut for days
on end. I had an uncle who was . . . he was a sadist. He was brutal. He was… He was absolutely
insane. And I suffered beatings at his hands time and time and time again. He would be the only
father figure that I would know as a child because my mother and him lived together all
throughout the earliest part of my childhood. My mother was as well . . . she was a violent
person. Any small thing that annoyed her, it was taken out on us kids.
My mother handed me over to a pedophile when I was 5, and by then, I—you would have
thought that I was conditioned to handle . . . the horrors of my life, but this added a new
dimension to my suffering, and I found it almost unbearable to deal with. So, as a kindergartner,
I would have to leave kindergarten class and go home and have sex with this man who was in his
I remember the long walk home—and crying. And falling down and having to get back up and
walking along, and falling down and crying and getting back up and walking on. I had to adjust
to that situation. I had no choice but to shoulder this responsibility, and I learned that food meant
sex for me. Young in life, I would turn to drugs. And that would be a friend of mine for a long, long, long time. My journey has been an enormous struggle for me.
I’ve known years and years of depression. I’ve, uh…I’ve, uh…I’ve been physically sick in times in my life. I lost my job. I had no friends. I… I assumed I would die. I never expected to live through this. I don’t think being abused as a child goes away. There’s things that I deal with as an adult now that, uh, it’s kind of like problem . . . trouble shooting. I maintain taking care of my mental health and my emotional health, and I’ve learned over the years to be fairly good at it. I know that I am a high-functioning abuse survivor. I have a propensity towards honesty, whereas my siblings don’t. They . . . they want to just forget it. They don’t want to think about it. But I
think it’s more insidious than that. We were made to witness crimes committed against one another over and over again. It’s like we’re . . .we hold the truth, and we can’t get near one another. It’s too horrible. To even see each other is so painful.
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia had taken their toll on 78 year old Rose. Those were the reasons her family checked her into an assisted living center.
Located in an upscale subdivision, the assisted-living center promised “to preserve each person’s dignity by honoring his or her physical, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual needs.”
Rose’s daughter – who did not want to reveal her identity due to the nature of this story – said it was a painful choice to make. “It tears you up,” she said. “It’s hard to watch that and know there’s nothing you can do.”
A doctor and judge had ruled her mother incapacitated – unable to make decisions for herself. They appointed a legal guardian, shortly before she began her stay at the center. But after only a few months of living there, her daughter says she noticed a change in the woman who was once so warm and engaging. “(My mother) became more and more distraught,” she said. “She talked about wanting to move. She became more withdrawn and upset.”
Rose’s legal guardian and family claimed in a lawsuit filed against the facility that she was sexually assaulted twice by a male resident described as a “sexual predator.” Claiming the center failed to protect the woman, the suit further alleged the man’s “sexual activities were known to the administration, but nothing was done to protect his victims.”
The woman’s family soon removed her from the facility, after seeing the decline in her emotional state and physical appearance.
Rose is currently residing in another assisted living center, and although she appears to have improved, her physical state had deteriorated to a point to where there is no recovery. Her Alzheimer’s symptoms had also drastically accelerated while in the other center, which cannot be reversed. Rose’s daughter is devastated. “I thought I had prepared myself for my mother’s aging, especially when we learned she had Alzheimer’s. That was such a difficult diagnosis to hear and we all wanted the best care for her. Now I feel like we made an awful situation worse. I can never forgive myself.”