Any instance of abuse in Virginia is one too many. However, the most heartbreaking situations involve people who cannot defend themselves. Thus, the abuse of children, the elderly, incapacitated adults and even pets are especially heinous.

According to CNN, in 2019, a senate hearing finally examined some of the most disturbing cases of nursing home abuse. What is perhaps most concerning is that many of these reports involved sexual assault and rape. In fact, the hearing began in the weeks following the report of a 29-year-old woman who gave birth while in a coma for years. She was raped by a member of staff.

The 2017 report created by CNN was one of the first studies of nursing home abuse and neglect that outraged the public and prompted a response from the government. In the report, the news agency found 1,000 citations from the government for failure to prevent sexual abuse or mishandling of these cases when they did occur. The study examined reports from 2013 to 2016.

According to Forbes, nursing homes are not the only sources of elder abuse. In fact, in most cases of neglect, the elderly fall prey to spouses and adult children. Because of this, other concerned family members should make a habit of asking for records and doing a wellness check to see how elderly family members are doing.

Forbes also warns about financial abuse, and recommends never giving a caregiver access to an elderly person’s credit cards. Caregivers are the second-most likely group of people to abuse the elderly, so family members should perform thorough background checks before hiring anyone. Finally, children should also monitor their elderly parents’ bank accounts and credit reports to catch any suspicious activity as early as possible.