Some of the victims can't speak. They rely on walkers and wheelchairs to leave their beds. They have been robbed of their memories. They come to nursing homes to be cared for. Instead, they are sexually assaulted. The unthinkable is happening at facilities throughout the country, an investigation finds.
It's impossible to know just how many victims are out there. But through an exclusive analysis of state and federal data and interviews with experts, regulators and the families of victims, CNN has found that this little-discussed issue is more widespread than anyone would imagine.
Even more disturbing: In many cases, nursing homes and the government officials who oversee them are doing little -- or nothing -- to stop it.
Sometimes pure -- and even willful -- negligence is at work. In other instances, nursing home employees and administrators are hamstrung in their efforts to protect victims who can't remember exactly what happened to them or even identify their perpetrators.