They say the last thing a fish would notice about the world is water. They live their lives surrounded by it and only appreciate its importance when it is gone. As humans, there are many things in this world that we treat like a fish treats water. We only notice their importance or appreciate them when they are gone. Trust is one of those things.
The ability to trust other people is one of the first things children learn. Newborns soon learn if they cry someone will come to take care of them. Toddlers know if they fall down a loved one will pick them up. As we age, our trust in others expands to those outside of our immediate family. Trusting one another helps us find our place in the world. It is essential in the workplace, in our communities, and in our personal lives.
Losing the ability to trust because you have been sexually abused by an adult leader in a church, the Boy Scouts, a school or other similar institution, a person you once respected and admired, shakes you to your core. Even years later in adulthood, it is very often difficult for victims to connect with others because you can never forget how you were once so viciously betrayed.
Decades of working on behalf of victims of sexual abuse have given Attorney Paul Mones and his team a keen understanding of the emotional and psychological obstacles faced by those who seek to hold their abusers accountable. Paul and the rest of the team work hard to be the sort of people that you can rely on and gradually learn to trust even if trusting others is hard for you.
Paul Mones is one of the nation’s most well-known and well-respected advocates for victims of childhood sexual abuse. He has over 30 years of experience representing victims who were betrayed by someone they trusted. In 2010, he and his co-counsel won the largest verdict ever — $19.9 million — against the Boy Scouts of America and spearheaded the subsequent release of documents that disclosed just how much the BSA knew about the abusers it supported or employed.
Paul has also represented numerous victims of Catholic clergy abuse throughout the nation. In 2000, he and his co-counsel tried the first sexual abuse case to a jury against the Archdiocese of New York. In 2007, he and his co-counsel obtained an $11.45 million jury verdict against the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York on behalf of two victims — the largest verdict rendered to date against a Diocese in New York.
Courtney Kiehl is a dynamic attorney and advocate for victim-survivors of sexual abuse. Before she came to work for Paul, she founded A.C.H.E. (Abused Children Heard Everywhere) as a response to her own experience with sexual abuse by her gymnastics coach.
Filing a lawsuit is not going to erase your memories of abuse or the years of pain you have endured however, it can be for many a very empowering act. When you are ready to come forward and learn about your options, Paul and his team are ready to help.