Hope of Survivors

Rating: 4.91 stars   116 reviews

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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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Hope of survivor's website helped me when there was no one to turn to for help. I was confused and lost in my situation. I received clarity and wisdom after reading the material on the website. Being able to understand what had happened to my family and I helped us to begging the healing process almost five years ago.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

THOS saved my marriage and my life. The personal care and truth received by this organization helped my husband and I to finally walk through everything that happened during the abuse. We finally understand one another better within our own pain and walls. I do not feel anyone would be better equipped to do what Samantha and Steve Nelson do within this ministry.

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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Thank-you so much for your help and support to our family thus far, we really appreciate your very quick response to our email thanks so much. May God bless this ministry in a might way.

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Steve and Samantha reach out to help victims of clergy sexual abuse through their organization The Hope of Survivors. They are a loving, caring couple who were victims of clergy abuse and have dedicated their ministry to assisting other victims in recovery from clergy abuse. They are professional in their presentations and can be very helpful to congregations to be proactive against clergy abuse as well as helping victims.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

The Iowa-Missouri Conference is pleased to have The Hope of Survivors ministry located within our conference territory. Steve and Samantha are an exceptional ministerial couple that have been a blessing to the members and pastoral families within our conference. Their ministry is timely and life changing especially for those who have been victims of pastoral abuse. The quality of training and education they deliver is such that they are in demand as speakers nationally and internationally. Join me in praying for God's continued blessing upon their unique ministry.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

From victim to volunteer! People from all over the world are having to turn to this vital organisation for help, because there is so little support for them locally. The Hope of Survivors is the only understanding and hope offered for some victims. We will never know how many people are not victims because of the work they do in educating Churches. I look forward to being a small part of making THOS known about and helping victims all over the world.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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  

8 people found this review helpful

After my relationship with my pastor had gone from professional to personal I came across THOS website. The things I read on there were so helpful I can not begin to describe it. The things I read were so accurate and after reading them I was able to really absorb what was happening to me. I was able to show the site to close friends, then my husband and my church leaders. I am in no doubt that without the help of THOS I would never have exposed what was happening to me, my husband would have struggled to gain any understanding and my friends would not have had enough knowledge to support me and my family. A predator has been removed from ministry largely because of the work of THOS. The work they do is absolutely critical and there are so few organisations out there in the world that can really help like they have myself and so many others. I am in the UK and still they were able to reach out to me from the USA.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

This organization is utterly unique in its purpose and so responsive to the people it serves. They do everything possible both to help survivors and to create systematic change. If you email them, even with a rambling email about what you've been through, a real person responds within 12 hours. They make you feel like a person. Even when I donate, I get a personalized email from the founder asking about my family and how I'm doing. They are ambitious in their dreams, creating a new recovery center that I wish had been there when I was suffering. Every year they help anonymous thousands. I cannot recommend them enough.

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

FEW HAVE ANY UNDERSTANDING the magnitude of SPIRITUAL SEXUAL ABUSE !
The devastation that follows having not only threatened neurological / physiological impact of a human body, but the mind and spirit after years of RELIGIOUS grooming, bonding, and associations of GOD and a charismatic man who many refuse to believe that not only did he "groom" one but MANY [who often fear to come forward due to the repercussions and implications for that person/ 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police; 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.] This man's child found videos of multiple victims and still people wanted to excuse "affairs".

I could not have recovered (and am still in the process years after....medically, emotionally, socially, and SPIRITUALLY) but HOPE OF SURVIVORS
-educated me.
-held my hand.
-visited me.
-attended confrontations with staffs.
-provided support GROUPS and online services (24/7)
and honestly was my ONLY HOPE!
I'm so thrilled for their
I am a survivor TODAY because of Samantha and her team

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

- it breaks my heart that there is even a need for this... can we make it go away? IN LIEU OF AN EVIL THAT IS STILL PRESENT.... I would make it 5x the size and serve more. Provide victims/ survivors with financial support (no cost to clients) and expand it World Wide! EVIL ABOUNDS! we need strength to counter their impact!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

When I emailed the co-founder of The Hope of Survivors, she called me and prayed with me and listened to my story. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a pastor. I found the HOPE of SURVIVORS website when I was doing research for my screenplay about a survivor of clergy abuse and I am so grateful for the helpful articles, videos and booklets The Hope of Survivors provide on their website. I look forward to attending their retreat in Iowa and working with them to help survivors of clergy abuse around the world.

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Early in my journey as a survivor I went to the Hope and Healing workshop in Indianapolis and Omaha. Those were life-changing experiences. It was a blessing just to be in a room with other survivors of clergy sexual misconduct. Now, with significant healing, I still stay in touch with THOS. I appreciate the helpful articles on the THOS website and facebook page. I'm very excited that they now offer retreats at a beautiful, safe location -- I know that will make a life-changing difference to many survivors.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Because I filed a complaint against a pastor who crossed sexual boundaries, I experienced not only the trauma of abuse, but the trauma of isolation and loss of community when my church community shut me out. Like most survivors, I felt completely alone and utterly helpless. When I went to the Hope of Survivors' 2011 "Hope & Healing" conference, I found myself in a room full of people who understood my experience. I heard over and over, from every speaker, "This was NOT YOUR FAULT." I can't begin to describe how helpful this was! Over the next year, as that truth sank in, genuine healing happened -- and when I went to the 2012 conference, I could feel how much stronger I was.
I hope I never have to recommend The Hope of Survivors to a friend -- I hope no friend of mine ever goes through what I went through. But I would recommend it to any victim or survivor of clergy sexual abuse.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Clergy sexual misconduct isolates its victims. We are misunderstood and blamed by the church, and sometimes even by our own families. Thank God for The Hope of Survivors! Because of Samantha and Steve Nelson, I know I am not alone. I have found great healing through the work of THOS.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

Actually I am no longer a board member but because of time, not interest. Since I have resigned I have been so pleased with the interaction with Hope of Survivors and the continued outreach and programs THOS has been making. I am firmly a supporter both with prayers and funds. I pray that many may continue to be blessed.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I have worked with Steve and Samantha and so appreciate their professionalism and their willingness to think above and beyond so that they can help the greatest number of peple. They are trying so hard to raise money so that they can get the message of help and healing out to more people. As a former board member, I have seen them working with individual victims to help them find peace and wholeness. It has not always been easy, but they have persisted; I appreciate that they seek advice as well. It is my prayer that they will be able to continue in a unique ministry!

In my professonal work I have also been able to use some of their resources, and that has been helpful.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I first became acquainted with the Hope of Survivors when researching information on clergy abuse. I found their material very helpful. I have also found them caring, prompt, and thorough in their responses and help.

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

I am, and I believe in what they are doing.

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

give them a constant source of funding

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Review from Guidestar