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The Reasons Why Psychological Facility Abuses Remain Largely Unreported in the US
In the limited research within the United States, certain studies have shown that 36% of administrators in psychiatric facilities across the country have received allegations of sexual assault against patients by their employees.
And, we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg–according a 2018 general study posted on the Mad in America watchdog website:
- More than 50% of the respondents described their psychiatric ward experience as “traumatic.”
- 37% said they were physically abused in some way (including forced treatment).
- 7% said they were sexually abused.
- 27% said they felt “safe and secure” while on the psychiatric ward.
- 17% said they were “satisfied with the quality of the psychiatric treatment” they received.
We believe this issue is much larger, with the potential for many more incidents of sexual abuse within psychiatric facilities existing primarily due to the lack of protections patients are afforded.
And the problem grows because many survivors are warned that their experiences hold no veracity due to their mental illness – that they simply will not be "believed".
Specific Incidences of Reported Abuse at Psychiatric Facilities Are On The Rise
Sometimes it helps to hear the details of specific cases to get victims and their families to open up and share their case with an experienced lawyer.
The following compilation of data, reports, and statistics from the LA Times outlines definitive cases of California psychiatric facilities failing their patients:
- In 2012, an 18-year-old patient of the Metropolitan State Hospital in Los Angeles reported that, while she was in her room reading, a male staff member entered here room and raped her. (State investigators determined that the facility had not protected her from harm.)
- In 2013, a mental health worker at Ventura County’s Aurora Vista Del Mar Hospital admitted to sexually abusing three patients. (A jury awarded $13M to the three women to be paid by the hospital and its parent company.)
- In 2014, a patient at Woodland Memorial Hospital in her mid-20s without the ability to speak for herself or care for her basic needs reported a male nurse acting inappropriately with her – including groping her breast, rubbing her legs, and trying to kiss her.
- In 2015, a mental health patient at University Of California Irvine Medical Center reported that when she woke up from sleeping, she saw a male staff member masturbating in front of her. (The staff member had been observed masturbating in his car previously, but it was never reported).
We believe that victims of sexual, physical, and mental abuse and their families should be able to address the psychiatric facilities that failed to protect these victims and get the compensation and justice they deserve.
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