Help for victims of clergy sexual abuse
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brooklyn Compensation Program
The Archdiocese of Brooklyn, which includes Brooklyn and Queens, recently announced the formation of an Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program (IRCP). It allows survivors of sexual abuse by priests or deacons of the Brooklyn Archdiocese to seek financial compensation. The Archdiocese has voluntarily established the IRCP. Without the IRCP, New York’s statute of limitations would prevent many, if not nearly most, of the claims.
Bishop Nicholas Dimarzio of the Archdiocese of Brooklyn emphasized that the program is entirely voluntary. It is being done to promote healing and to bring some element of closure to sexual abuse victims. The Bishop has characterized the IRCP as a significant response to the sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons of the Brooklyn Archdiocese.
The Brooklyn IRCP is modeled after the IRCP previously implemented by the New York Archdiocese, which includes Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island and the Counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester.
Monetary awards in both IRCP’s will be made by Kenneth R. Feinberg, Esq. who administered other compensation programs including the September 11 Victims Compensation Fund and the compensation fund for victims of the Gulf of Mexico BP spill. Mr. Feinberg also served as mediator for the Penn State University sexual abuse cases as well as the tragedies of Newtown – Sandy Hook, One Fund Boston (established after the Boston marathon bombings), the Aurora Victim Relief fund (established after the movie theatre shooting) and the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund (established in the aftermath of shootings on the Virginia Tech campus).
There are time limits for the filing of claims with the Brooklyn IRCP. The time limit for the filing of a claim for Phase I of Brooklyn’s program is September 30, 2017. Phase I is limited to those individuals who previously submitted a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor to the Archdiocese of Brooklyn. Individuals who allege clergy sexual abuse but who have not previously complained to the Archdiocese have the opportunity to seek compensation later in 2017 during Phase II of the program. There will be a time limitation for Phase II sexual abuse victims but one has not yet been established.
Both Phase I and Phase II have no aggregate cap or limitation on the amount of damages that might be recovered. Damages will be determined by whatever the administrators of the IRCP deem appropriate. Individuals who previously settled any sexual abuse claims with the Archdiocese of Brooklyn will not be permitted to participate in any Phase of the program. Those individuals who alleged sexual abuse as a minor by a member of a religious order or clergy other than a priest or deacon within the Archdiocese of Brooklyn are not eligible to participate in the program.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York Compensation Program
The Archdiocese of New York, like the Brooklyn Archdiocese, has a similar IRCP program with Phase I and Phase II components. The time limit for filing a claim by individuals who were abused as minors which were previously reported to the New York Archdiocese has expired.
However, the Phase II program for individuals alleged to have been abuse by priests or deacons within the New York Archdiocese, not having been previously reported to the Archdiocese, expires on July 31, 2017.
If you have been sexually abused by a priest or deacon within any of the geographic areas served by the Archdiocese of New York, namely within Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island or the counties of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester, you must file a claim by the July 31, 2017 deadline or the claim will be denied.
Both New York and Brooklyn’s programs are to promote healing and to serve as a sign that the Catholic Church recognizes the harm and wrongs done to sexual abuse survivors. Monetary compensation cannot right a wrong and wash away the damage done. The programs are a step to hold accountable the predator and pedophile priests and deacons who have damaged the innocent, many of whom continue to suffer and be tormented decades later.
If you or a minor were sexually abused by a member of the clergy of either the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brooklyn or the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, you can reach out both discreetly and in confidence to the attorneys and support staff of Fellows Hymowitz. Call 845-639-9300 for a free confidential consultation.
We are ready to help you obtain some measure of closure and we’ll be both an aggressive, yet compassionate and understanding advocate.
For too long, the survivors of sexual abuse have lived in the shadows. You can now vindicate your rights and help to continue to expose the scourge of sexual abuse that has for too long remained hidden.