Compensation Programs Begin in 6 California Catholic Dioceses Days After SOL Reform is Passed
Today, compensation programs for survivors of clergy abuse in the Catholic have officially begun in six California dioceses. We hope that survivors will weigh their options closely when evaluating this option, especially given that newly passed legislation could result in other opportunities.
We believe that the best way to expose wrongdoing and enforce accountability is for crimes to be made public and for punishment and compensation to be meted out by courts, not the institutions that allowed the wrongdoing to happen in the first place. Survivors deserve a chance to have their day in court and shed light on their abuse, a critical step towards getting information into the hands of parents and the public.
Fortunately, California recently passed AB 218 which will provide survivors with a “window” through which they can bring their claims to court. The timing of today’s announcement – just days after the passage of AB 218 – seems designed to ensure survivors are informed of internal church programs, but not secular alternatives.
We hope that survivors in California will take steps to learn about their legal rights and the potential pitfalls of compensation programs before signing on. Regardless of what steps they take towards compensation, we hope that all victims will first make a report to police, district attorneys, and the California Attorney General’s office.
CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP Board Member (firstname.lastname@example.org, 415-341-6417), Joey Piscitelli, SNAP California (email@example.com, 925-262-3699) Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator, (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175), Esther Hatfield Miller, SNAP Los Angeles (562-673-9442, email@example.com),
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)