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New Brunswick Clergy Abuse Lawyers | Clergy Abuse Victim Funds

Clergy Abuse Victim Funds

The public releases of investigative reports recently shed light on the ongoing problem of clergy abuse in the Catholic Church. Multiple dioceses recently responded by creating victim compensation funds, which make payments to individuals harmed by priests and church officials within the diocese. Many clergy abuse survivors and advocacy groups question whether compensation funds provide the best results in the long run.

Holding the Church Responsible

Initially, only those individuals who previously identified themselves as an abuse survivor to the diocese will be eligible to receive compensation. Church officials have not released specific financial details about the funds, which are estimated to pay several millions of dollars to survivors of sexual abuse by priests. The amount of individual settlements will be determined by the fund administrator. For now, many individuals harmed through clergy abuse have no other way to seek compensation for their injuries.

Under New Jersey’s statute of limitations, claims against predatory priests must be brought within a specific time period. Until legislative reforms remove these barriers for filing suit, survivor compensation funds are the only available option.

Critics Warn of Increased Protection for Priests

Critics of compensation funds caution that allowing the Church to handle restitution outside the legal system would prevent true transparency and allow predatory priests to be shielded from public reprimand. The fund would also limit the Church’s financial exposure as individuals receiving payments will waive their right to bring any future legal claims. Victim compensation funds also require individuals to sign non-waiver and confidentiality agreements, preventing any future disclosures about the abuse or settlement payment.

Allowing the Church to conceal the details of the abuse could continue a pattern of cover-ups that have protected many predatory priests and their supervisors in the past. The existence of the fund may also limit the amount of additional investigations into the abuse problem. Advocates for the clergy abuse survivors have expressed concern that crucial information, including priest assignment files, may not be available to survivors who accept compensation from the fund.

Justice for Clergy Abuse Survivors

Healing from the aftermath of sexual abuse can be a lifelong journey for many. Obtaining compensation for the costs of medical and psychological treatment, mental health expenses, prescription drugs, lost wages, and their ongoing emotional distress can help abuse survivors and their families move forward. By holding all responsible parties accountable, including the church officials who covered up or moved abusive clergy from one assignment to another, justice can be found for the survivors.

New Brunswick Clergy Abuse Lawyers at the Law Office of Harold J. Gerr Protect the Rights of Clergy Abuse Survivors

If you are a survivor of clergy abuse, the experienced New Brunswick clergy abuse lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help you obtain justice. With compassion and dedication, we strive to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for clergy abuse survivors and their families. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 732-537-8570 or submit an online inquiry form.

Our Highland Park, New Jersey offices serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

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