A first?: KY nursing homes get sexual-assault response training

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Two Kentucky organizations have teamed up to train nursing home workers how to identify and deal with sexual assault in facilities. The program is thought to be the first of its kind in the U.S., according to a report in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass and the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center have given the hour-long seminar to about 300 workers in 10 Central Kentucky nursing homes.

About one in every 100 complaints involves sexual abuse, according to Sherry Culp, program director at the Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass. Nursing home residents, staff and visitors can all be potential offenders, Culp says.

Inappropriate behavior can include anything from sexual comments to unwanted touching to rape. Residents are least likely to complain about assaults that could include painful follow-up procedures, according to Janis Durham of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center. More facilities have expressed interest in the program, and the organizations plan to continue providing the training, Culp says.