Hope of Survivors

Rating: 4.91 stars   116 reviews

Issues:

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.
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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  

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

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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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  

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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