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102 Reviews
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March 19, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

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1 previous review
November 2, 2012

The Hope of Survivors reached out with an incredible amount of time, patience, and understanding when a clergy member in a mainline Protestant denomination violated pastor-parishioner boundaries with ... more

March 19, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

I'm a survivor in a very concrete sense of the word: after being sexually assaulted, I attempted suicide. I continued in a severe, often suicidal depression that lasted over a year. My family and friends ostracized me quite a bit through this period, and so often I had literally no one I could talk to -- except for one person at the Hope of Survivors, who would sit on the phone with me sometimes for hours. He talked me through some of my darkest moments -- talked and listened, of course. The Hope of Survivors was one of a very few factors that prevented me, I think, from killing myself. This organization helped save my life.

The Hope of Survivors is particularly special because I believe it's the only one of its kind: advocacy and support for adults who have been abused by a religious leader. Being assaulted within the context of one's own religious community is an experience that requires a specific type of support. They are specialists in dealing with cases that combine religion and sexual abuse of adults. This is a unique set of expertise.

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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

November 2, 2012
2 people found this review helpful

The Hope of Survivors reached out with an incredible amount of time, patience, and understanding when a clergy member in a mainline Protestant denomination violated pastor-parishioner boundaries with me. THOS stayed in close contact with me during an eight-month, painful disciplinary process that traumatized me more than the original alleged sexual misconduct. THOS's counselors were available, seemingly 24 hours a day -- I'd call, distraught, sometimes on weekends or at night, and always received a prompt response. They donated many hours of their time on the phone with me. They reviewed my case, wrote an endorsement letter for the church authorities, and defended me publicly against people who belittled me and other survivors of clergy sexual exploitation when the case went to the newspaper. What is special about THOS is that its leadership really understands something of the subjective, psychological experience of an adult parishioner whose boundaries are violated by a pastor. That understanding allows them to do a very specific and unique kind of counselling. As such, it is a one-of-a-kind non-profit. Surviving my case was a very tough ordeal, but THOS made it easier because its staff were very genuinely dedicated to helping me through it.

More feedback...

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

March 19, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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March 19, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

It was August 2013 while I was counseling a young lady who was being groomed by her pastor that I realized the same words that were being said to this young lady were the same words that were once said to me by a young pastor in the late 90’s. It was then, that I realized the burden that I had been carrying all these years because one pastor decided to beguile me into believing God chose me for this pastor. After falling with this pastor, he turned tables on me and telling me that I was a sinner and not fit to marry him. Thankfully, I had forgiven him since because I thought I was in the wrong, but it was August 2013 and after speaking with Samantha that I understood what really happened to me and why I felt unworthy of God’s forgiveness. Since, I chose to forgive the so-called “pastor” for being a predator pastor and I asked God to forgive me for being so hard on myself. It was The Hope Of Survivors that helped me on several issues and I am thankful. So, thankful that I am now a volunteer for The Hope Of Survivors.
March 19, 2014

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March 19, 2014

The Hope of Survivors is what many consider a Dove ministry. Most recovery ministries will usually fall into three categories. First there is the Lion recovery group where the ministers trying to help actually end up roaring accusation at all who are involved. They swing wide the church doors to show the sin of the clergy or the weakness of the wounded to all who will listen. With their lion-like jaws and claws of so-called justice, they rip everyone and everything to shreds.

Second is the Ostrich ministry group, which works in the absence of the light of truth or even finding out the truth. They have only one objective; they try to keep everything quiet. The let’s don’t rock the boat crew. This group is the one that will do all to protect the offender but very little for the offended, not realizing that burying their heads in the sand will not cover up sin.

The third group is the Hope of Survivors. The Hope of Survivors is a Spirit led Dove Ministry, one willing to pour in the oil and the wine. They get the facts and make sure the facts are real. Then they confront all parties without ripping and tearing like a lion or trying to appease those in authority. For the sake of the survivor, they refuse to bury their heads in the sand like an ostrich and pretend it did not happen.

A survivor is someone who has endured with power. The Hope of Survivors is a Dove ministry that gives the mistreated and wounded that power from on high.
Pastor Hal Steenson
West Frankfort, IL.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

March 19, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

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1 previous review
February 3, 2011

As a pastor for over 37 years I have seen more times than I want to recall the tragedy of clergy abuse. I have also known Steve and Samantha for several years and am well aware of the countless lives ... more

March 19, 2014
3 people found this review helpful

I am a former board member, a pastor closely associated with the Nelsons, and a supporter of "Hope of Survivors." I have watched this ministry from its infancy and am so pleased to see it grow to an international resource for clergy and parishioners alike. Steve and Samantha have worked so hard, without any personal benefit other than restoring broken lives. Born out of their own pain and struggles this has become a truly healing ministry.

Ways to make it better...

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

Just let God continue to develop what He has begun.

More feedback...

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

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

February 3, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

As a pastor for over 37 years I have seen more times than I want to recall the tragedy of clergy abuse. I have also known Steve and Samantha for several years and am well aware of the countless lives they have touched with this ministry. As they serve from experience they also serve with tremendous skill, sensitivity, and professionalism. Too many churches and organizations are reluctant to address this problem and as a result many lives have been severely damaged. Hope of /Survivors can not only help victims, but can also effectively help pastors and church administrators avoid the problem before it starts. THOS is a powerful tool across denominational lines.

The Great!

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

I spent a significant amount of time working with Steve and Samantha when they were going through their own crisis and have watched them develop this amazing ministry from the ground up. I served on their board for a few years and now am blessed to hear testimonies of those they have ministered to.

Ways to make it better...

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

Not aware of organizational changes needed.

April 25, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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April 25, 2013
2 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.

More feedback...

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

April 25, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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1 previous review
February 3, 2011

I had been abused by my former "pastor" for years. When it came out, someone told me about The Hope of Survivors and I went to their website where I found an incredible amount of information t... more

April 25, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I had no idea that the traumatic, devastating situation that was going on in my life had a name, clergy sexual abuse, or that anyone else was going thru what I was going thru. I was dead inside, a shell of a person, ready to end it all. My husband and I had no support, outside of our therapist, until we were told about The Hope of Survivors. Their ministry gave us life changing knowledge, support, and help that we needed so badly. It is a non profit organization that there is not enough of in this world today. This ministry is vital in the lives of so many victims out there that would otherwise be alone and without any support or help of any kind. When one suffers from clergy sexual abuse, not only are you abused by your so-called spiritual leader, but you are often times ignored and further abused by what is supposed to be your church family. Most people do not fully understand clergy sexual abuse and all its implications. The Hope of Survivors is doing the hard job of not only helping and supporting victims, but trying to educate churches, communities, and all people who will listen about what CSA really is, how to avoid it, how to deal with it, how to help....and this is all just the beginning of trying to stop it altogether.

More feedback...

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?

2010

February 3, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I had been abused by my former "pastor" for years. When it came out, someone told me about The Hope of Survivors and I went to their website where I found an incredible amount of information that immediately helped me and my husband begin to cope and deal with what had happened. There was so much help in the information we read and it gave us hope that we would survive this horrible thing. There was a conference coming up for victims of clergy sexual abuse and my husband and I went. My emotions were still very raw, but I met others who'd been through similar experiences and they'd survived, so I felt hope, and for once, I felt like there were people who really understood what I'd gone through and was still going through. Steve and Samantha were nothing but supportive, helpful and compassionate. My husband also found support in talking with other husbands going through similar experiences.
Until we came across The Hope of Survivors organization, we had no help, no support, no idea that there was anyone else out there that had gone through something like I'd gone through. We had no idea how widespread a problem it is of pastors abusing their power and authority for their own sexual gratification. Through The Hope of Survivors, we found just that....the hope of surviving...

The Great!

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

my own life with the tragedy of pastoral sexual abuse. Until I learned of The Hope of Survivors, I felt all alone.

Ways to make it better...

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

only make it more widely known and available to more people.

April 18, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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April 18, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

The Hope of Survivors was a supportive and insightful ministry that reached out to me in a time of shock and huge life changes post abuse. I was thankful for their support, the kindness they gave, the educational seminar that was presented, and the prayerful interest in my journey of healing.

More feedback...

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

April 17, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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1 previous review
February 15, 2011

I was personally helped by The Hope of Survivors after being a victim of abuse in my teens. After their loving guidance and counsel, I have now served as executive assistant for over a year. The w... more

April 17, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

This is one of the best nonprofit organizations in the world. The cause they are combatting is so prevelent but is so hidden and disguised that it makes their job that much more difficult. There should be an award given for the kindness and acceptance that is shown to each victim by each and every volunteer. I was given the pleasure of meeting them and counseling with them in 2010 and my life will forever be changed and blessed by the healing that came from their counsel.

More feedback...

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?

2011

February 15, 2011

I was personally helped by The Hope of Survivors after being a victim of abuse in my teens. After their loving guidance and counsel, I have now served as executive assistant for over a year.

The work that this organization is extremely critical and important. The victims that they
counsel on a daily basis have been through hardships and trials that no one else understands. THOS offers free counseling for anyone who needs it. No one is ever turned away. Their expertise in the field is backed by years of experience, with many volunteers being victims themselves.

It has been an extreme privelege to work with The Hope of Survivors on a personal and volunteer level.

The Great!

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

my own personal counseling which helped me heal from my own abuse.

Ways to make it better...

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

find more volunteers to help lighten the workload.

More feedback...

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

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Definitely

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Excited, like I was making a difference in the world

April 16, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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April 16, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I had previous knowledge of Hope of Survivors through a Pastor's Convention we had gone through. Few months later I was having a lot of family troubles with my abusive Dad, a previously fired minister. I decided to contact Hope of Survivors. I emailed and explained that my case involved no sexual abuse, however I was being emotionally abused and stalked along with my husband by my Dad.
Shortly after a volunteer attorney contacted me and helped represent me in court with restraining orders against my Dad. That was early last year. Our attorney was so attentive, he sounded more like a counselor, psychologist to me, and helped me deal and process with those issues almost better than any counselor had done for me before, in the sense of helping me put boundaries once and for all. Ever since, my Dad has left us alone, finally! Even my husband's boss is not getting harassed by Dad anymore! Yes I had to grieve the loss of relationship which was extremely hard, but I finally have peace and am not suffering from constant depression anymore. I am actually a much happier person around my husband and children.
I want to thank Hope of Survivors for coming immediately to my aid.

I have since recommended other cases, that I have come in contact with, to them, and in a short period of time, I will get a confirmation email that they have contacted the referrals and that they are currently hands-on the situation. That is always a great relief!

They are supporting and helping so many people heal from abuse and torment. They need all our help and support so that they can continue with this magnificent ministry!

Thank you Hope of Survivors!!!!!

More feedback...

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

April 10, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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April 10, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

Hope of Survivors delivered me out of pastoral sexual abuse last year. They provided my family, friends, and myself with invaluable counseling and helpful materials. I was being abused for over 10 years by my pastor of a small independent church that had all power and no accountability over our little flock. Hope of Survivors helped me to see the truth, expose the truth of what was going on, and set me free from this horrible abuse. My husband and I went to a wonderful seminar last August that was so informative - giving us even legal counsel for the harassment we were receiving also.
I will always be so thankful for the courage, wisdom, and support that they have given to my life even to this day. This ministry has truly been life-changing for me and my family. All abuse is terrible but when a trusted pastor abuses a little sheep he is supposed to protect - it is so wicked. I do not know where I would be without Hope of Survivors. I have been set free due to their ministry!

More feedback...

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

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