New Jersey Independent Victim Compensation Program
New Jersey Independent Victim Compensation Program to open June 15 As announced in February, the Diocese of Metuchen – along with the four other Roman Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey (Newark, Trenton, Camden and Paterson) – established an Independent Victim Compensation Program (IVCP) to compensate those who, as children or young adults, were sexually abused by a priest or deacon of the Diocese. The IVCP will be open to claims beginning June 15 and will conclude on December 31, 2019. All individual claims must be submitted during this period. The state-wide IVCP will be independently administered by Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros, two noted victims’ compensation experts who have nationwide experience in administering varying compensation programs such as the Penn State sexual abuse claims, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, and the Boston Marathon bombing compensation fund. The IVCP will handle the submission, evaluation and resolution of individual claims, and will operate independently of the Diocese or any church-affiliated institution. The administrators of the IVCP will have complete autonomy to determine the eligibility of a claim with the guidelines of the established Protocol. The amount of compensation for those who make a claim will be independently determined by the IVCP administrators. All victims – no matter when the abuse occurred – are eligible to participate, and all matters will be handled confidentially. Victims of clergy sexual abuse of a minor can begin the process of utilizing the program by going to www.njdiocesesivcp.com and reviewing the protocol for submitting a claim. The implementation of the IVCP is an important step in aiding victims in seeking justice and healing, and as we journey together as a Church toward a new day. Transparency, justice and truth, remain a top priority for Bishop Checchio, who in a February letter to the Church of Metuchen, said, “As sad as this day is for the Church, I remember daily that God has called me to this diocese, to be here with you and to walk down this road back to Him with transparency, justice and truth to promote healing, confidence and renewal. The challenges the Church faces now may seem daunting, but we must not fear the days ahead; Christ walks with us. Together, we will journey toward a new day. Even though our Churchtoday inherited these problems from the past, we are to be part of the solution to ensure these horrific crimes are never repeated in the future.” Anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse by a priest of the Diocese is encouraged to participate in the IVCP.