It’s Not Just a Movie. It’s a Movement.

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That Happened to Me is an initiative led by two legal powerhouses with a long history of fighting child sexual abuse: Mitchell Garabedian and Simmons Hanly Conroy.

Mitchell Garabedian has become internationally known for his work seeking justice for victims of childhood sexual abuse and fighting to end that abuse. His work was documented in the Academy Award-winning movie Spotlight which depicted Mitchell’s groundbreaking litigation on behalf of 86 victims of Fr. John J. Geoghan. Mitchell Garabedian obtained a $10,000,000 settlement on behalf of the Fr. Geoghan victims. In 2003 Mitchell Garabedian representing 120 victims of over 40 different priests, along with lawyers representing other victims of abuse, obtained an $85,000,000 settlement with the Archdiocese of Boston. 


                       Attorney Mitchell Garabedian

In 2010, Simmons Hanly Conroy teamed up with Mitchell Garabedian to pursue justice for scores of Haitian children abused by convicted pedophile Douglas Perlitz while Perlitz was running a school in Haiti sponsored and inadequately supervised by powerful institutions and individuals in the United States. Dozens of lawsuits have been prosecuted since 2011, resulting in financial settlements so far for 24 of the more than 150 victims. And after more than six years, the team continues to fight on in order to achieve justice for all victims.


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The most traumatic part of sexual abuse is recounting it — to have to live through it again — when you want to get away, to move on.

Guess who benefits from this repeat trauma the most? The abusers – the men and women who are betting on your unwillingness to stand up against your abuse.

We know this is not easy, but we also know that your courage is all it takes.

Schools. Churches. The Boy Scouts of America. Every major institution entrusted with looking after minors is at risk of doing the unthinkable, hurting the ones they were supposed to protect. We believe we can do better as a country. And we believe that all children and adults injured as children deserve better. That’s why we’re helping those who were abused speak up.


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Ending child sexual abuse requires us to hit the problem when it starts; rather than awful negligence by people who could have made a big difference, there should have been real action to keep children safe.

As Mitchell Garabedian’s character in Spotlight says, ”If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one.”

We believe that with all of our hearts. And we will do everything we can to fight the village that permitted and fostered abuse, hurting so many.

Every child deserves protection.

Every adult deserves to see justice for the hurt suffered — as the institutions, abusers and people of power who looked away are held accountable, so that not one more child can be hurt.


Stanley Tucci
as Mitchell Garabedian

in Spotlight