With a Jan. 31 deadline fast approaching, leaders of California’s independent compensation program for victim-survivors of priestly sexual abuse are urging victims to register at the program’s website.
375 people have already registered with the Independent Compensation Program (ICP) for Victim-Survivors of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests since it was started by six California dioceses last year. 85 victim-survivors have actually filed claims so far, and 39 of those have received compensation settlements totalling $3.94 million, the program’s administrators, Independent Oversight Committee (IOC), announced Thursday.
The committee’s four members expressed satisfaction with the program’s progress so far after meeting this week for the first time since its launch in September 2019. Program administrators Kenneth Feinberg and Camille Biros reported on the program’s progress to the IOC. They also heard from childhood sexual abuse trauma and treatment experts, including its appointed Victim Advocate Advisor Susan F. Moan Hardie, RN, Ph.D.
“It is clear that the ICP is succeeding in achieving its objective, empowering victim-survivors with another option to pursue justice and healing,” said IOC member former California Governor Gray Davis in a statement following the meetings. “There has been a high level of interest and we are seeing victim-survivors being treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”
The IOC is reminding the public that claims from victim-survivors have until Jan. 31 to be registered with the program. Once registered, claims determined eligible will have until March 31 to file for compensation.
Feinberg and Biros are nationally recognized leaders in private compensation programs. They say they believe the program has been largely effective so far, and cited the fact that only one claimant has rejected the compensation offered by the ICP so far.
In a letter to Los Angeles Catholics when the program was announced, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said he prayed that “this new program might provide another avenue toward healing and hope” for victim-survivors.
For more information on the ICP program and to register to file a complaint, visit californiadiocesesicp.com.
For more information on the Archdiocesan efforts to support victims of abuse, report misconduct, and prevent abuse, visit protect.la-archdiocese.org.