My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Hope of Survivors, Bedford, IA, USA
The Hope of Survivors (THOS) has been extremely influential in my life. Samantha and her husband Steve have been so supportive of me. I first contacted Samantha in December 2005. I was trying to get out of an extremely violent and abusive relationship. I never told Samantha of the ongoing pastoral abuse in the beginning. Because at that time, and for a long while afterward, it was my dark secret and I believed was ALL my fault. The word “abuse” never entered my mind. I did not realize how desperately I needed help for that, as well as the violent relationship I was in at that time.
The pastor I was involved with came highly recommended to me by several family members, even one who had worked with him in the past. A few friends of mine who knew him, his wife and kids, personally, also recommended him to me. I went to him embarrassed to explain all I had been involved with over the years. But, I was desperate for help! By the third session, he had made sexual advancements toward me. Even though I was uncomfortable, I did tell him this was not what I came for. It still quickly ended up in a sexual relationship. He threatened me from day one what would happen to my family if they found out. He said no one would believe me—not a woman like me! He gave me many guilt trips of how I had ruined my mom’s marriages by having sexual relationships with my biological father and my adopted dad. I believed I was a tramp and I was getting what I deserved.
After getting to know Samantha, and her helping me work through my abusive relationship that was getting more violent by the day, she also began helping me deal with sexual abuse from my family growing up. I don't remember how we got on the subject of pastoral abuse. I think it was from her sharing her story with me early on that opened door for me to tell her about what was going on in my life. All of it! I remember her sending me a couple workbooks to work through. She sent me some CD's and ALWAYS remembered my birthday over the years, and has sent me several encouraging cards over the years. Which meant the world to me! I still have every card to this day. Samantha (THOS) DID this knowing I had no money to give them.
They’re so amazing! Not just Steve and Samantha, but their whole team! They all have prayed for me when I needed it. A year can go by where I don't stay in contact but I know if I need anything THOS is always there for me. They truly have become my family. I wish I had millions of dollars to give to THOS but I do not. All I can say is, if you choose THOS, you won't be sorry. Your money will be given to a cause worth giving to because THOS ALWAYS gives back to those in need. And let me tell you, there are many, many more woman and kids out there waiting to know that someone else has been through it and someone cares. But, more than that, that a cause like The Hope of Survivors will step up, step out, and take action! I know—they've done this for me many times!