Sexual misconduct by priests has been in the news for many years now. Many have suffered from those who are in the position of power. A recent announcement from the diocese hopes to bring the end of decades of suffering.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre announced that it is creating an independent compensation program for those who were the victims of sexual abuse by priests. The diocese sent letters to those who have filed complaints. The program is modeled after similar compensation programs established by Archdiocese of New York and Diocese of Brooklyn.
Under the compensation program, victims who are eligible for financial compensation must agree to not pursue legal action against the church in the future. It is not clear how many victims are eligible at the time, but it may be dozens that date back decades. Settlements may range in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The program in Brooklyn and New York have two phases. The first phase are victims who have already reported abuse to the church can apply for the funds. The second phase are victims who have previously not reported their abuse can then apply. The Independent Reconciliation and Compensation program will be administered by the same person who was in charge of the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, the Boston Marathon victim fund, the Orlando shootings and other high-profile disasters.
Those who are victims of sexual abuse by clergy may want to speak to an attorney. An attorney can help their client figure out what the best course of action may be and can aggressively represent their client's interests and make sure they receive the compensation they deserve and are entitled to.
Source: newsday.com, "Letter: LI Catholic diocese creates sex abuse compensation program", Bart Jones, Oct. 6, 2017