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

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.

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

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

2 people found this review helpful

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.

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

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

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

find more volunteers to help lighten the workload.

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

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

5 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!!!!!

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people 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!

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: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

The Hope of Survivors has helped my tremendously through their articles, testimonials and most of all through Samantha's prompt attention to my initial letter and her counseling. I am so glad I found THOS as I am a survivor of abuse at the hands of clergy. THOS has been life changing!

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

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Samantha is very prompt when responding to contact. They are genuine, warm, hospitable, and ever dedicated to this ministry. I appreciate how very knowledgeable they are in the subject of clergy sexual abuse and committed to providing quality reference material both in print and online, through social media, and in conferences they present. They increased my awareness; I now know that this does not only happen in my church, but in every church, not to mention the secular realm. It is a human problem; and they are advocating to rectify the situation. My experience with them has been only positive.

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

A lot

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

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

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

The Hope of Survivors educated me and others I knew about clergy sexual abuse. As a young woman, this has made me much more careful in my interactions with men in authority over me. I am not paranoid, but more aware of the dynamics which can come into play. They taught me that this kind of abuse of power and social standing does not only happen in my church, as I might first have thought, but in every church, not to mention other social settings, such as in businesses and schools. This knowledge helped preserve my faith in my church and our beliefs.

Steve and Samantha, the founders, are personal, caring, and wise in their care of victims and others affected. It always amazes me how quickly Samantha responds to email requests, and I have heard others report the same. I first came into contact with them after sexual abuse incidents left a spiritual leader disfellowshipped from our church, displaced in his career, and in legal trouble. They supported everyone involved, encouraging our church to respond Biblically to the crisis, and seeing us through the entire trying process to the end. Thank you to all the volunteers at The Hope of Survivors! We remain grateful for your invaluable support.

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

A lot

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?

2007

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

THOS has helped me and my husband beyond our expectations. Samantha's and Martin's compassion and dedication surpassed our immediate months of crisis. Throughout our time of crisis which was over two years ago, they were available and responsive to us, and they have remained with us as loving and ready sources of support and friends since. They are truly sincere in their efforts to provide healing and education to both survivors and perpetrators and incredibly skilled in their spiritual and counseling roles. We were fortunate in meeting Steve (co-founder) this past summer and were impressed with his noble character as well. Everyone who we have met and/or dealt with at THOS have shown utmost integrity, sincerity, professionalism, respect, consistency, and complete commitment to our well-being. I am certain that they extend these same virtues to anyone who has the fortune of coming into contact with them. There are some people of rare beauty and courage behind the name THOS, including, I am certain, their volunteers and other associates who we have not yet met. THOS deserves recognition and support for their continued efforts in confronting clergy sexual misconduct, a devastating and heinous act.

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: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Well what can I say. Hope of Survivors has helped me and my family so much. We would be a broken family if it wasn't for Hope of Survivors. Even though I am a man was so affected by what had happened to my family. They educated me to what was real and where to put my hope. I am so greatfull for them. Hope of Survivors was the only ministry that is activly working hard to support and help those affected. from the victims to the churches to find hope and healing thank God for them kepp up the great work.

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: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

THOS were there to give me moral and spiritual support when no one else understood my circumstances.

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  

3 people found this review helpful

I felt isolated and trapped in my situation of abuse. I googled and found "The Hope of Survivors" - and became a survivor of Pastoral abuse... I have found the encouragement and support I have received from the Nelsons has allowed me to grow to be a happier, healthier and stronger person, and only this week I have commenced proceedings to make an official complaint about my abuser. I cannot imagine where I would be without their support and counsel over the past 18 months or so. I had no support structure here in Australia and I am very grateful to have "someone" who understands and accepts me unconditionally.

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? 

Thank you, Judy, for your comment. We are so grateful God used THOS to be a blessing to you! :-) Samantha

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Hope of Survivors was a life line to me at a time when I needed help the most. Samantha was a listening ear on so many occasions. They walked me through challenges, understood my situation, and encouraged me that things would get better. When I experienced Clergy Sexual Abuse I thought my world would end and I would not be able to function again. I knew that the one place that would always listen was only an email away. Samantha and Steve have watched me heal and grow. They wept with me and they now rejoice with me as they see God restore every bit that was stolen. Hope of the Survivors has been a light in the darkness.

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

A lot

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: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

The Hope of Survivors helped me to know that I was not alone. Before I found The Hope of Survivors website and Samantha, I felt like there was something wrong with me. I had been counseled following my abuse by a Christian counselor who presented what happened to me as me being a "weak sheep" and needing to become a strong person. This made me feel like the pastor preying on me was due to a flaw in me and that it was my fault somehow that he chose me to prey upon. The Hope of Survivors helped me to understand that what the pastor did was abuse and that it wasn't because I was weak and flawed, but that it was because HE was. I found a healing through Samantha's counsel. I would recommend the Hope of Survivors to anyone affected by this type of abuse. I found out that I was not alone in what I went through and that the pattern that my abuse followed was indeed a pattern that many pastors use to prey upon adult women in their congregations. I am thankful to this organization for the help that they provided to me and the work that they continue to do in so many people's lives.

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?

2005

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