That Happened

The most traumatic part of sexual abuse is recounting it – having to live through it again when all you want to do is move on.

You may have been told to stay quiet, or there was nothing you could do. But the truth is you may be able to take powerful legal action now that will allow you move on from your own pain and help protect children today.

What is That Happened To Me?

The sexual abuse lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy are helping to give child sexual abuse victims a voice by teaming up with internationally known Attorney Mitchell Garabedian to sponsor That Happened To Me, an initiative designed to help victims finally break free from the past.

Garabedian has represented more than 2,000 clergy sexual abuse victims nationwide:

  • His work was featured in the Oscar-winning movie Spotlight, which depicted Garabedian’s groundbreaking litigation on behalf of 86 victims of John J. Geoghan.
  • In 2003, he represented 120 victims of over 40 different priests, along with lawyers representing other victims of abuse, and obtained an $85,000,000 settlement with the Archdiocese of Boston.
  • In 2010, Simmons Hanly Conroy worked with Garabedian to pursue justice for more than 150 Haitian children sexually abused by convicted pedophile Douglas Perlitz while he was operating a school in Haiti. Dozens of such lawsuits have been prosecuted since 2011, resulting in financial settlements for 24 of the young victims of Perlitz, and after more than six years, the team continues to fight for justice for all the victims.

Our Most Trusted Institutions Have Done the Unthinkable

Some of our most respected and trusted institutions entrusted with looking after minors have instead hurt children the most:

  • The Boy Scouts of America, founded in 1910, may have been sexually abusing children since 1919. The Los Angeles Times unearthed information describing at least 1,900 files and 3,000 case summaries of sexual abuse occurring from 1947 to 2005, known as the “perversion files.”
  • The Catholic Church, in which the vow of celibacy sometimes took on a reverse effect, fostered a secrecy that in turn permitted negligence, denial, and the covering up of child sexual abuse.
  • Private schools, where abuse is allegedly occurring in skyrocketing and yet unrecorded numbers, have a vested interest in hiding the abuse behind a stellar reputation.

The Reality of Child Sexual Abuse

The majority of child sexual abuse cases are never reported, likely making the following a small fraction of what is actually going on:

  • About 20 percent of sexually abused children are molested before the age of eight.
  • Predatory staff members sexually abuse an estimated one in 10 K-12 students each year.
  • One priest may potentially have sexually abused hundreds of victims.

Inaction is permission, and when we deny, we let the abuse grow. If it happened to you, it can happen again. Contact Simmons Hanly Conroy for a totally confidential, free consultation and learn how you can take legal action today.