Archdiocese of New York Compensation Program Phase II – Survivor Rights: Do you qualify for compensation?

The Archdiocese of New York announced that it will continue to voluntarily compensate some survivors of clerical sexual abuse – EVEN SURVIVORS WHO HAVE NOT COME FORWARD PREVIOUSLY.

The deadline for submissions for Phase II is July 31, 2017.

In October of 2016, the Archdiocese of New York instituted a confidential compensation program.  The program was initially available to only sexual abuse survivors who had previously reported the abuse they suffered to the Archdiocese.  Now, the program has been extended to include sexual abuse survivors who have not previously reported to the Archdiocese.  In other words, survivors who have been suffering in silence can now confidentially, and with the assistance of a lawyer advocating on their behalf, seek compensation from the Archdiocese of New York.  Some say this move by the Archdiocese is in anticipation of an upcoming change in the law that will make clergy abuse lawsuits more available in the future.  While only time will tell if the law does in fact change to benefit survivors, if you or someone you love has been hurt by clerical abuse in New York, right now presents a potentially once in a lifetime opportunity to seek acknowledgment from the institution responsible and compensation for the survivor.  

However, the question of a survivor’s eligibility for the program is becoming increasingly complex. The Archdiocese of New York is one of the largest and most complex church entities in the United States.  So large in fact, that church records indicate approximately 50% of the clerics who have worked in the Archdiocese of New York have been clerics from religious orders contracted by the Archdiocese to staff its facilities.  Survivors of abuse by these religious order clerics may not be eligible for the current compensation program and must evaluate their rights and options for litigation.  Accordingly, the compensation program may be a powerful tool for some survivors and a false hope for others.