Harrisburg recently opened a survivor’s compensation fund set up to compensate victims of sexual abuse by clergy. Harrisburg is the fifth diocese to make this move. The compensation fund was announced in response to the August 2018 jury report that outlined the allegations and the rampant increase in sexual abuse by clergy. Compensation claims are already underway in Scranton, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.
The Harrisburg Survivor Compensation Program has been entrusted to a mediation firm. The firm will take in the claims and issue the payments, and victims of clerical abuse are required to fill in a questionnaire provided by the firm. Some of the details needed in the form include information about schooling, biographical questions, marital status information, criminal history and details on the alleged abuse.
The form also clearly gives a warning to deter people who had not initially come forward in making an abuse claim. Anyone making a claim who was not included in the original list will have their case investigated by law enforcement officers who will work with the human services department.
The compensation programs are expected to go on in other dioceses. Matt Kerr, the diocese spokesman for Allentown, will begin its compensation program in March or early April. Other dioceses in Pennsylvania are also expected to make public their plans to start a compensation program. Earlier in the week, the Houston Chronicle did a feature detailing decades of history of clerical sexual abuse, especially among children. Sexual abuse by the clergy is not just a Catholic Church issue, as other religious leaders from different denominations have been guilty of the same thing.
The grand jury report brought to light a series of sexual crimes committed by the clergy, and what these victims faced was life-altering. These acts are examples of atrocities committed toward innocent victims by manipulative people with bad intentions. If you have experienced any form of church sexual abuse or personal injury, then you should consult with our attorneys. KBA Attorneys is a firm committed to ensuring that victims receive compensation that is commensurate with the injuries, pain and suffering they have endured.
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