The National Adult Protective Services Association has shared findings from a study evaluating the differences between substantiated and unsubstantiated cases of sexual abuse in care facilities. The study, entitled Victim, Allegation, and Investigation Characteristics Associated with Substantiated Reports of Sexual Abuse of Adults in Residential Care, considered 410 reported cases of sexual abuse in New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin that occurred over a 6 month period in 2005. Of the 410 cases, 72 (or 18%) were found to be substantiated by a state regulatory agency or a state Adult Protective Services (APS) agency. The study authors spent 3 years interviewing investigators from APS agencies, reviewing records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and evaluating themes and trends among the data they gathered.
The 72 substantiated cases shared several key characteristics:
- Sexual abuse cases were more likely to be substantiated if the reporting of the incident occurred within 3 days.
- Sexual abuse cases were more likely to be substantiated if the accused was a fellow resident of the care facility than if they were a staff member or visitor.
- Sexual abuse cases were more likely to be substantiated if the victim was visibly harmed or able to personally share the details of the incident.
- The majority of victims of substantiated sexual abuse cases were female: 61%.
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