Hope of Survivors

Rating: 4.91 stars   116 reviews 2,415

Issues: Mental Health, Human Services

Location: 607 Jefferson Street Bedford IA 50833 USA

Mission: The Hope of Survivors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting victims of clergy sexual abuse and misconduct, as well as providing educational and informational materials and seminars to pastors and churches worldwide. Other divisions include: Latino, Australia, Romania, UK and Canada. Professional memberships include: Adventist Association of Family Life Professionals (AAFLP), Adventist-laymen''s Services & Industries (ASI), Outpost Centers International (OCI), the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), and the International Board of Christian Counselors.
Results: The Hope of Survivors has assisted thousands of victims in various ways since the organization began in 2002.
Target demographics: victims of clergy sexual abuse
Direct beneficiaries per year: approximately 100 new victims, while maintaining support for prior victims
Geographic areas served: International
Programs: The Hope of Survivors currently offers several resource materials (booklets, DVDs, etc.) that address the issue of clergy sexual abuse from various perspectives (victim, youth, pastor, church, general, overview of ministry). These resources are very critical components of the educational and awareness work of The Hope of Survivors ministry. These materials are used in clergy education seminars, church congregations and among individuals around the world. We also provide ongoing, free support to victims via email and phone, as well as offer in-house programs (for a fee) at our Renewal Center and seminars around the country and world.
2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 65-1211701
866-260-8958
http://www.thehopeofsurvivors.com

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

3 people found this review helpful

I was referred to the The Hope of Survivors by a friend right after I came out of the hospital. I had just tried to kill myself due to being kicked out of the church because my pastor was wanting to have sex with me. I took the fall for it all. The pain and shame was unbareable. I began reading the website and learning that my story was almost the same as other women's story. I learned why I felt the need to end my life, why I felt I should protect the pastor at all cost to myself, I learned how I was groomed for this relationship, and that I needed forgiveness of my sin. I no longer today carry that load of guilt and the words of the survivors and their support brought me through the hardest time of my life. I can truly testify to the fact this group saved my life! I am forever grateful!

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The Hope of Survivors helped us through the most painful time of our lives, and we will forever be grateful to them for being there. They inspired us to host our own CSA educational website for five years, and were there with encouragement and support every step of the way. Most recently, they have helped us with the introduction of a law in our state, which will add clergy to the other professionals in which sexual contact with those under their care is illegal.

This is a movement that is starting to be engaged across our country, with 13 states having already adding clergy to their existing laws. If it weren't for THOS and the education they provide, perpetrators would still be operating in the dark, destroying lives and families as they prove to be "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing". May God richly bless THOS as they continue shining a light on CSA, and in the most important work that they do!

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The Hope of Survivors saved my life and my marriage. I was desperate and when I reached out for help, The Hope of Survivors immediately answered my message and they have been there for me ever since. When there was no one to tell, no one who could possibly understand how trapped and hopeless I felt, The Hope of Survivors listened to me and helped me to understand the dynamics of clergy sexual abuse, and helped me find the courage to put my life back together. I will forever be grateful to them.

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Few understand the depth of SPIRITUAL SEXUAL ABUSE.... to invade a person's soul as well as their physical body. It is a violation so intense that it is difficult to "rebound" / "recover"/ "restore" any sense of sanity. Nothing makes sense after violating these realms. ANOTHER SAID IT WELL= "THOS is a voice for those silenced by shame. THOS is a refuge of healing for the wounded soul. THOS offers hope to victims and their families who have been pursued, used, and abused by men whose responsibility is to protect."
The very person who is to protect has now pursued those who are already abandoned and abused and have no voice. HOPE.... is lost.... and HOPE restored comes from people at THOS!

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I was a secondary victim to the sexual abuse and manipulation that my wife was suffering from our minister.
The information that I gained access to, through The Hope Of Survivors website, has enabled me to become a survivor !
The help and support that we have received from THOS has been immeasurable, a real life line to us.
After a number of years learning about this kind of misconduct through THOS I have become fully aware of the devastation that it brings, not only to the victims but also to the wider body of the church.
I now have a real insight through my own experiences and can now show much needed empathy towards other victims particularly husbands and other secondary victims.
Through my experiences I am now able to try to help others to understand what has happened and to be able to support them and give them hope, and also to show that it is possible for a family to survive these ordeals.
My wife and I are now the UK representatives for THOS. We hope to be able to give the support, love and care that we ourselves where blessed to receive to others ,who will unfortunately go through these experiences.

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I came across The Hope of Survivors after experiencing Clergy Sexual Abuse five years ago. They offer hope, healing, and support to victims by teaching the truths and dynamics of CSA. After a few years of healing and reading the wealth of information on their website, I became a volunteer in victim support services. What shocked me the most was the number of victims who are suffering in silence because they are too afraid to speak, or suffering because they are blamed and feel at fault for an act of abuse they endured. The most important truth THOS is working endlessly to promote is that any time a spiritual leader has a relationship with someone under their care, it is not an affair; it is abuse. THOS is vital to the church's healing by promoting the truths and dynamics of CSA as well as offering hope to its victims.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

The Hope of Survivors (THOS) offers a wealth of information on Clergy Sexual Abuse that provides hope, healing, and support to all victims. Their goal is to inform the church that a relationship between clergy and a congregant is NOT an affair; it is abuse. This truth brings much healing to those abused by their church leaders. THOS has been instrumental in my healing process and has given me strength to become a volunteer and to help others understand the dangers and dynamics of CSA. If every church leader and member became more aware of CSA, prevention would follow. THOS is vital to reaching this goal.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

During a recent search for a support group for women who were involved in a pastoral 'affair,' I found The Hope of Survivors. The information, support, and encouragement they offer brought me hope and healing. I learned the truth about the imbalance of power and although I was responsible for my actions, the greater responsibility falls on the pastor/shepherd whose role is to guide, protect, and help his flock. I was able to read numerous survivor stories that were all too familiar with my own and found hope from those who overcame the damaging effects of being abused. THOS is a safe place to communicate with other survivors in a world that does not yet understand the dynamics of pastoral abuse. THOS is a voice for those silenced by shame. THOS is a refuge of healing for the wounded soul. THOS offers hope to victims and their families who have been pursued, used, and abused by men whose responsibility is to protect.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

receiving information and support (articles, personal stories, DVD, one-on-one counsel via email) on the dynamics and truth of pastoral abuse.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

try to increase funding to promote to a wider audience.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

The Hope of Survivors has contributed to the healing of thousands of women and men who were victims of clergy sexual abuse and misconduct. Many of these survivors have become advocates and leaders themselves. THOS has done this for me: they helped me heal from the most traumatic experience of my life, and helped me embark on my own ministry to survivors. I owe Samantha and Steve Nelson more thanks than I can express.

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I can personally say that this ministry called THOS, The Hope of Survivors, has helped many, many victims of abuse. Steve and Samantha Nelson are two of the most loving, serving and dedicated people I know. May God bless you both.

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

THOS is a one of a kind ministry. I have yet to find another organization that is so dedicated to the cause of clergy sexual abuse and misconduct, and the people they serve. They work tirelessly to bring awareness and to educate people. THOS genuinely cares for each individual that comes to them for support. Because of all of the love, care, respect and understanding THOS gives, The Hope of Survivors is a true blessing for all victims to come to for support.
I recommend them.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I was referred to HOS by a friend. I spoke with one of the counselors who gave the website information. I was impressed that organization was international. I also communicated with a counselor who personally told me about the resources the organization offers for survivors. The volunteer was not judgmental and could relate to my story. I felt understood and relief about something so secret and painful in my life. I was afraid I would be dealing with fake christian people. Having been through severe spiritual abuse I told her I have a hatred for Christians and the church itself. She understood. I explained my story of sexual abuse and the same pastor had a sexual affair with my mother and other women of the church. The counselor helped me to understand the mindset of a predator, narcissist who preyed on me as a teenager and made sexual moves at me when I became a legal adult. So much of my guilt was false and nothing was my fault. My parents did not help me. So I had to help myself. I am grateful this organization helped save my life.

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