Suffering in silence: the scourge of sexual abuse in French care homes

By Sophie Boutboul (Youpress) and Leila Minano (Investigate Europe)

Denise was a 93-year-old hemiplegic resident of a care home in eastern France when she was attacked by a man in the establishment, beaten and sexually assaulted. She never recovered and died one year later. Her story is one of several highlighted in this report on the shocking reality of sexual attacks on care home residents, a largely hidden issue which rarely reaches the courts. The reasons for the silence include the failing health, and notably neurological disorders, of the victims, the taboo that surrounds such crimes and the failure of establishments to reveal the events. Sophie Boutboul and Leila Minano report.

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Sitting around the living room table in a small house situated on the outskirts of the town of Bourg-en-Bresse, Monique and her son Fabrice agreed to describe the horrific events in detail.