Inappropriate Sexual Behavior / Nursing Home Abuse

Americans awoke Wednesday to learn that Matt Lauer, host of NBC’s Today, was fired for inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.  He joins a growing list of high profile men who are being called out for their conduct – people who are at the highest reaches of news media, entertainment and politics.

The narrative has changed since last month, when film mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of using his clout to pressure young actresses for sex.  Since, we’ve heard the stories of a highly regarded actor who groped young male co-workers; a respected comedian and U.S. senator who took inappropriate pictures with a female comedian while she slept; and a senatorial candidate accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Thursday’s Smart Talk discusses whether this is a turning point in what’s appropriate and what isn’t, respect, acceptable behavior and how men and women treat each other.  Kristen Houser, Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape appears on the program.

Also, according to an investigative report in the Reading Eagle, between 2009 and 2015, the state’s Department of Health acknowledged more than 1,800 incidents of abuse of residents of nursing homes in Pennsylvania.  Only three of those cases were referred to the attorney general’s office.  None were prosecuted.

The Eagle says due to a lack of transparency in the reporting and documentation process, there is little understanding of the scale of these abuses.  A 2010 amendment to The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires facilities to notify police within 24 hours of a reported abuse but a review of 100 incidents by The Reading Eagle found that there is little compliance with the law.  The Eagle had to file three Right-to-Know requests and two open records appeals to obtain this information.

On the Thursday edition of Smart Talk, we’ll will parse out the scope of nursing home abuses and the reporting thereof with Reading Eagle investigative reporter, Nicole Brambila.