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February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

When no one else we reached out to could fathom the devastating effects of the clergy sexual abuse we had experienced, THOS helped my wife and I through the most emotionally shattering time in our lives. THOS understood the trauma my wife was suffering and pulled her through that experience with their dedicated and skillful counselors and professional resources that are based in true human love and care. They helped me to understand the depths of that betrayal and to come to terms with my own role, confusion and mix of overwhelming emotions. I honestly don't know where we would be today if THOS had not been there for us with their deep care, ready support and experienced understanding.

The Great!

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

the healing of a severely traumatic experience.

Ways to make it better...

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

...increase their funding so that they could expand their staffing and services enabling them to reach more victims in need. For example, Samantha seems to always be working exceptionally long hours and days and could really use an assistant.

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

How did you find this group?

Online

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Life saving!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 27, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 27, 2011

THOS, Samantha Nelson and one of their volunteers/pastors have provided essential support to me and my husband in our recovery from clergy sexual abuse. I first contacted THOS in April of 2010, while seeking support for the devastation that my husband and I were facing.

The aftermath of
our experience probably marked the darkest periods of our lives, having been betrayed by a spiritual leader toward whom we we had both given our total trust and devotion. Samantha immediately responded to my desperation and grief with the sensitivity, care and respect of a loving mother to her child. She was also able to provide guidance coming from direct experience, having been a survivor of clergy abuse herself, as well as wisdom born from her deep faith and commitment to her own spiritual growth.

One of their volunteer pastors who was assigned to me as a counselor was just as amazing, kind and skillful in his guidance. An experienced and learned, deeply spiritual, wise and compassionate man, he was able to provide clear insight and guidance to my husband and I. It is obvious that THOS only seeks volunteers and personnel of great integrity, faith and compassion.

Since that day in April of 2010, Samantha has remained a steady support to my husband and I, from our most painful days to the present in our continuing recovery and healing. I have become much stronger, but it wouldn't have been possible without THOS's dedicated help.

I feel as though we have made friends for life in THOS and their loving stewards.

The Great!

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

...spiritual, psychological and emotional healing.

Ways to make it better...

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

...clone Samantha and Steve Nelson, Martin Weber and other volunteers like him. I'd also provide much needed financial support to expand personnel and outreach services. Samantha works far too many days and hours. Additional personnel and funding will better help THOS to thrive. I have not met with another more organized, dedicated, professional and brave organization, providing clergy abuse support to all parties involved, and THOS's educational and support services are so critical to people's lives.

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

How did you find this group?

Google search

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Profound change, on all levels

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 25, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 25, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I come from a well thought of family. Neither family or church members believe that clergy sexual abuse could happen to me. Actually I grew up being abused by religious leaders. And again as an adult. I learned changing churches did not guarantee safety.
At a convention last summer
(2010) I came across The Hope of Survivors booth. Unexpectedly I immediately felt safe. I did get acquainted with Samantha and Steve Nelson, founders, and a few of the volunteers. They listened and believed me. When one learned something said had inadvertently hurt me a genuine apology was quickly sent. The volunteer who is working with me gives freedom of choice, believes me! For me an important thing is knowing I'm daily prayed for.
I appreciate their balanced approach. That they realize that more than the two involved are affected. But also their families, friends, and church members. Besides getting great benefit myself I have told others about this organization.

The Great!

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

that they are currently helping me overcome the emotional, spiritual and social effects of long term clergy sexual misconduct.

Ways to make it better...

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

1 Encourage them to continue their programs, with wise increase of personnel, materials, PR, and funding. 2. Greatly increase funding to: a) Educate members, clergy, church/denominational leadership to csa and beneficial responses so victims don't feel abandoned by God & people b) Establish safe places a victim of csa could go to begin picking up the pieces. c) Increase other language work, workers, and materials.

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

How did you find this group?

Pasted The Hope of Survivors booth and received material they handed out. Read it. Came back and talked. Went home read all they have on the internet. Made contact.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

I'm different than 8 months ago. They've keep their promise not to aban- don me, They have done a lot of caring listening. They offer safety, hope, and a God I want to know. I'm beginning to have hope and trust - to the point of writing a review. But I don't have a clear cut answer to your question.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 24, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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Review from Guidestar
February 24, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

After my wife was the victim of clergy sexual abuse by the Associate Pastor at our United Methodist Church, Hope of Survivors was the best organization I found to help both of us understand what happened and to heal and recover. Hope of Survivors provided excellent resources as well as support via phone and email. They also provide resources which we will now use to push for changes in our church's policies and practices to protect our congregation and other pastors from this in the future. (The pastor who did this to us resigned after I confronted him, so he is no longer there.) I will be an on-going supporter and donor to this vitally important organization.

The Great!

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

I personally benefited from the compassionate and knowledgeable support that Hope of Survivors provides to victims of clergy sexual abuse. They helped me and my family recover, and now they are helping us protect the rest of our church.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would contact leaders of our military bases as military spouses are particularly vulnerable to clergy sexual abuse and should be warned of this danger. I would also make the DVD videos available via Youtube, so that more people become aware of how prevalent clergy sexual abuse is.

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

How did you find this group?

by searching "affair with my pastor" on the Internet

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Hope of Survivors has helped me recover and now fight to prevent clergy sexual abuse from hurting anyone else in our church.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

February 22, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 22, 2011

I have been personally blessed by this ministry in so many ways! I have received personal counsel through this ministry concerning my abuse and I attribute my the beginning of healing wholeheatedly to the work that they do. I am a survivor of pastoral abuse. If I hadn't have come in contact with this ministry I would still feel like a victim with little hope. That is why the name of their ministry is so great because i don't have to be a victim or be hopeless anymore.

The Great!

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

All areas of my life. It has saved my marriage and my life.

Ways to make it better...

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

Make it more accessible and visible to the public because thousands of victims can truly be helped by the info they provide and counsel they give.

February 21, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 21, 2011

We were introduced to Hope of Survivors two years ago when dealing with the abuse perpetrated on my wife by our "Senior Pastor". I was one of his staff pastors for 17+ years. His abuse of my wife nearly destroyed her, our marriage and our home. When we blew the whistle on this predator there was absoulutely no help from the rest of the staff that I was a part of for the better part of two decades or the fellowship that I had served in (and grown up in) for 23 years. Everyone was lost in a fog of disbelief, their own hurts and betrayels (the whole story is incredibly ugly with 10 women having come forward at this point, with stories that covered the entire span of this mans 30+ year ministry.) And the prevailing wisdom was to try and cover things up as quietly as possible. Even though the monster involved lost his credentials and his position all of the leadership at every level was absolutely useless to any of the victims. Still are at this moment over 2 years later. Hope of Survivors was a lifeline. We attended a conference with them that year and were sorrounded with love and compassion that was instrumental in our healing process. We were sorrounded by others who understood and were not driven by their own fears, insecurities or politics like we experienced with our church and fellowship. Those two days were a catalyst for freedom and healing. The THOS website in and of itself is an incredible resource that we have been able learn and grow from. It has also been a place that we have sent numerous people who need teaching and training regarding an evil that is usually covered up and ignored. THOS has been and still is a tremendous avenue of support like nothinig else that we have experienced or have been able to find as we have walked out the last 2 years. THOS is providing an avenue for healing and exposure for an need that has been ignored and swept under the carpet for way too long. They are meeting a serious need in an area with catastrophic wounds with love and mercy and grace. THOS is an amazing organization!

The Great!

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

the healing and restoration of my wife. THOS was instrumental in opening a door to freedom that we have not found anywhere else.

Ways to make it better...

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

Give them the opportunity, resources and staffing to be available whenever and wherever the need was made known.

February 19, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 19, 2011

I attended a Christian youth conference a few years ago where I met a Minister who was giving away literature about his ministry I took what he gave me and emailed later…At When I first started emailing he sent prayer requests, information on prayer etc… things seemed fine as conversation centered around Bible topics mostly. After awhile he began to introduce questionable comments in the conversation which should have warned me there was something wrong such as calling me darling or dear and adding kisses at the end of a messages, when I tried to addressed it he would just avoid explaining what he meant by it; and since he was so old compared to myself I thought it maybe saying kisses etc just an old person thing. But he soon turn out to be a very nasty mean old person pressuring me with explicit messages to submit to things I’d rather not do and would get mad if I didn’t talk to him. The Hope for Survivors helped me no longer feel powerless and trapped but safe with a strong protector to comfort him for me when I was too scared to. This ministry taught me many things to help me learn better how to not get myself hurt. Listening is the hardest lesson because it’s up to me.

The Great!

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

I found lots of understanding; my volunteer was really understanding and professional. I learned that I was abused as a child more then I had thought but was still valuable to God and noting done to be can reduce my value to God.

Ways to make it better...

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

I would give more money, I wish I had a job and a better way to say thank you.

February 19, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 19, 2011

My wife was abused by our pastor. We could not find anyone with the expertise to deal properly with this type of extreme betrayal. I am grateful my wife has found the website Hope For Survivors. It has helped her to see the situation of pastoral abuse properly, and to be able to forgive herself.

The Great!

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

My wife has found hope and forgiveness.

Ways to make it better...

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

none.

February 18, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 18, 2011

My daughter was the victim of Pastoral Abuse (indecent assault) from the Youth Leader at our Church - he was 24 years her senior. He adamantly denied being involved with anyone else ... since she spoke out at least 17 other victims have stepped out of the woodwork .... victims over 25 years, including minors. His Church and most of his immediate family whom we trusted and loved like family refuse to accept his Pastoral Abuse and instead have turned their ire onto us who they now choose to see as his and their abusers. Hope of Surviours almost literally saved our sanity and spiritual life ... to know that we were not alone, not making more out of the issue than was really warranted, and that this man has (he is still in denial) serious mental health issues and poses a real danger to our Community was just wonderful. I thank God for the organisers of Hope of Survivors.

The Great!

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

The wider Church Community organised education seminars and public awareness programmes about Pastor Abuse and how to keep our children and young people safer from predators.

Ways to make it better...

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

Have more field workers ... there is so much work to do in this field!

February 18, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
February 18, 2011

My daughter was a victim of abuse at age 16, by her youth pastor. I too found this info helpful because of my own abuse history of people in power. My daughter has not looked at this site yet but I hope she will when the time is right. It covers loads of misconceptions, lies we believe, and validates our feelings of the wrong down by those who are suppose to protect. I appreciate the info and I looked at it often to encourage myself.

The Great!

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

Encouragement from the scriptures as well as the information which explains in detail the wrongs done by churches by not protecting future victims.

Ways to make it better...

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

I hope to attend a seminar in Tampa, Fl.

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