Registration Deadline Extended to February 29, 2020 for program run by independent experts
Victim-survivors of clergy sexual abuse who wish to participate in the Independent Compensation Program will have an additional month in which to register, following an extension of the original deadline.
Bishops of the six California dioceses involved in the program moved the registration deadline from Jan. 31 to Feb. 29. In announcing the extension, Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto expressed the hope that the extension would allow more victims to seek justice through the independent program.
“Sexual abuse of children – innocents who were betrayed by the very person they were taught to trust – is a terrible and evil sin,” Bishop Soto said. “It is fitting that we do all we can to ensure that anyone who wishes to come forward and seek justice through this program have every opportunity to do so. I continue to pray for the victims of sexual abuse and seek to atone for this shameful chapter for our Church.”
Registration is a required first step for those who wish to participate in the program. Participants may then decide whether they wish to file a claim, and have until March 31 to do so. The extension applies to registration deadline – the claim-filing deadline has not changed.
The program is open to any victim of child sexual abuse by a diocesan priest, regardless of when the abuse occurred or the citizenship status of the participant. The program is confidential, and is not administered by the diocese – evaluation of claims and compensation awards are handled by independent experts who have overseen similar programs for abuse victims in other states, as well as funds for victims of the 9/11 attacks.
These features, along with a process that moves much faster than a typical court case, may make the program the right option for those who do not have recourse to the courts, or who prefer a confidential and streamlined process.
For more information on the Independent Compensation Program for Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests, including how to register and submit a claim, please visit www.californiadiocesesicp.com.
For more information on the Diocese of Sacramento’s work to safeguard children and the vulnerable, or to report sexual abuse, please visit www.scd.org/safe-environment or call 916-733-0227.