The Hope of Survivors (THOS) is the greatest source of hope and healing for every person impacted by clergy sexual abuse, but particularly for adults. Unfortunately, when a spiritual leader has a relationship with an adult member of his flock, the overwhelming majority of the church places the blame on the congregant. This lie from Satan is what causes the most damage to the member who was abused, her family, the church, and the Kingdom of God. Finding the truth that my relationship with my pastor was not an affair, but was in fact, an abuse of power, was the first step in my recovery. Several other myths were dispelled that brought additional healing. The truth sets us free. THOS has helped free countless lives who were bound by the brokenness caused by clergy sexual abuse. THOS provides hope and encouragement that guide a victim to become a survivor. They offer support and truths that help survivors rebuild and strengthen their relationship with God. They have been instrumental to the healing my husband and I have experienced. Every person impacted by clergy sexual abuse will find hope and healing from The Hope of Survivors!
As a senior pastor it was deeply disturbing to hear from a congregant that she had been sexually exploited by a former member of our clergy staff. With few local resources available to assist, it was wonderful to hear of the support she received from your charity, support that has continued over the 10 years since. I'm pleased to be able to thank you through this word of support for the ministry you continue to offer to victims of clergy sexual abuse. God bless you!
The Hope of Survivors gave me the definition for what happened to me. I had no idea what I had been through. The session of my church labeled it adultery, while at the same time using the terms “he was grooming you” and “that is textbook sexual abuse”. I had never heard the word “grooming” so I immediately googled that word as well as church abuse. The website that popped up was the Hope of Survivors! It was here stories of women that matched my own! As tears fell on my cheeks, I found myself experiencing mixed emotions; thankful to finally understand what I had been through, yet mournful at the realization! The Hope of Survivors is where my healing began! I will be forever thankful! I am proud to promote this organization they will have my financial support so other women like me will have a place to go and learn about what they’ve been through so healing can begin!
Had it not been for the Hope of Survivors I would have never been able to make sense out of what happened to me at the hands of my pastor! They offered light in the midst of darkness! A willing volunteer lovingly wept with me and helped me through so many dark days! Offered me hope on days that felt hopeless. When I plead for help for my husband, Mr. Nelson called him personally! The Hope of Survivors was a life giving resource when life seemed hopeless! I thank God for their tireless, sacrificial ministry to anyone who seeks help, whatever their denomination.
Hope of Survivors offered a place of healing and hope when there was no where else to go. The organization continues to be a place where people fi comfort, encouragement and connections with others who have faced the disappointing reality of abuse in the church. God continues to use Hope of Survivors to direct people to the truth and open the eyes of many who are unaware of what is happening to women and men everyday.
The Hope of survivors has been a lifeline for us when our lives were filled with chaos and confusion. They brought godly clarity to our situation, and helped us see hope into the future.
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.
Review from Guidestar
My story is not as dramatic as many others which have come through Hope of Survivors. But having been on the edge of a similar event, I can relate to those who Hope of Survivors has helped.
When I was just out of graduate school, I married a young lady whose parents were what I think of as "hyper-fundamentalists," people for whom their religious system was all-important, even more so than anyone with whom they were in contact. The mother in this family believed that everyone she knew should be a worker in God's kingdom, so devoted that they should become full-time ordained ministers in the denominations she determined were "selected by God." My brother-in-law actually did become a minister, in a couple of denominations selected by my mother-in-law, and, as he put it, "The voice of God only came through my mother.!" He wasn't terribly successful as a minister and he is now a customer service representative for a large chain-store.
It turned out that my in-laws were devotees of Bill Gothard's Institute of Basic Youth Conflicts, and along with my then-fiancee, I was forced to attend. It was very strange, since Gothard's teachings designated the man as the absolute head of the household, and the woman was to be subservient to him. My mother-in-law said that that was the only part of Gothard's teaching she didn't agree with.
My mother-in-law tried to force me to become a minister also, offering to pay up to half of my wife's and my living if I did. But I refused to do that since I did not feel I had anything even resembling a call to the ministry. My mother-in-law started actively campaigning against me by constantly telling my wife that I was not a Christian, and that I would desert her in the future. This abuse took an emotional toll on me, and I tried to reconcile with my mother-in-law, but she would not have that and continued her criticism and denigration to my wife. When I suffered a nervous breakdown because of the mental abuse, my mother-in-law forced my wife to divorce me and it left me almost completely unable to function as a human.
There was a couple my parents knew who understood what had happened to me, They were a college religion professor and his wife, and they were compassionate and active in helping the people they knew. I was fortunate enough to be under their ministry, and was able to recover and regain my ability to function.
Sometime after this, I ran across Hope of Survivors, and learned that Hope of Survivors was helping people by accomplishing the same mission that my benefactors had accomplished with me. Hearing the stories of people that Hope of Survivors has been able to help impressed me and led me to make them a ministry that I support. To know that there is a resource that can help victims of religious and clergy abuse has made it possible for me to stay in the community of faith, and I support their ministry as much as I can.
This is a ministry helped bring me through the hardest, darkest moments of my life. It’s a ministry with integrity and so needed. It’s a shame there aren’t more ministries that address the issue of clergy sexual misconduct towards adults. This ministry is a gift from God and led by godly leaders. I cannot recommend this ministry enough. May the Lord continue to prosper this ministry for His glory!
At a time when I was being ignored by everyone, The Hope of Survivors was a beacon of light that gave hope to a hopeless situation. Very few people can define what clergy sexual abuse is, let alone help you through all the levels of turmoil it creates for your life & those around you. This organization deserves recognition for the pioneering work its doing among the hurting & abused within the church that should not exist. Their understanding & the information on their website is lifesaving to say the least.
The Hope of Survivors is one of a kind! It is a much needed life support for many that find themselves in a horrible situation of being betrayed by their spiritual leader. Without this organization, their staff and volunteers, and their amazing website, many in this sad situation would find themselves without any help or support. I was a victim of pastoral sexual abuse and when it came out, I became a victim of an ignorant church that rallied around the abuser and ignored the victim. The wealth of knowledge found on their website, along with someone to talk to who understood, was what saved me from feeling like the only answer was suicide. They offer truth in the midst of so many lies and hope to what seems utterly hopeless.
The Hope Of Survivors is a great Organization! They helped me get through one of the most difficult times of my life. Thank you for everything!!!
THOS came to my family’s / friends needs in a time of crisis. Their emphatic help helped us navigate the difficult times. Highly recommended!
The Hope of Survivors have been faithfully, skillfully, and patiently helping victims of clergy sexual misconduct for over two decades. I served on the board at one point and know the inside of the organization. Let me testify to the fact that while so many "ministries" are buying their next jet, THOS staff are giving blood, sweat, and tears for oh, so little in return.
I'm a riotous supporter of The Hope of Survivors. Why? Because I believe in small, sacrificial, professionally-run, non-pretentious ministries that are long on substance and short on hype. THOS fills an important niche (which is more like a gaping wound in the body of Christ). They've been frontline helpers for countless victims and nemeses to many perpetrators. Besides the work of educating the public about clergy sexual misconduct--a topic that, however well they speak on it, many avoid--they command a team of volunteers, some of whom are survivors they helped once upon a time. Given their complete lack of personal benefit from the organization, their motive can only be pure compassion.
Review from Guidestar
THOS was hugely helpful to me when I was struggling to leave an emotionally abusive situation ten years ago. I have continued to support THOS financially, and would encourage others to do so.
This is a very effective and compassionate organization whose work deserves recognition and support. I have donated to them every year since 2009.
The Hope of Survivors in my experience was as a life raft to one trying to keep their head above water in a stormy sea. I had stumbled out of an abusive situation and was reeling with the words of my former boss and ministry leader that what he had done to me was an affair. With how traumatized I was I could not put words to the fact that THOS at a conference made clear to my heart: it was not an affair, it was predatory abuse. The support and clarity THOS has given me since has been a part of what has helped establish my feet and rebuild my life.
From the first I heard of this nonprofit I have found their work to be beneficial and supportive to those involved in saying no to abuse and giving clarity and definition for those who are reshaping their lives with kindness and dignity after deep harm has been done.
I am thankful to God that I had the early intervention and ongoing support of The Hope of Survivors in my situation. I am sure that I am healing as well as I am because of the godly and sound counsel provided through The Hope of Survivors.
The Hope of Survivors has been an ongoing lifeline for me in helping me deal with a complex abuse situation. They have been with me every step of the way. As my situation is ongoing, they continue to be a vital resource as I move towards recovery as a survivor.
The Hope of Survivors (THOS) is the greatest source of hope and healing for every person impacted by clergy sexual abuse, but particularly for adults. Unfortunately, when a spiritual leader has a relationship with an adult member of his flock, the overwhelming majority of the church places the blame on the congregant. This lie from Satan is what causes the most damage to the member who was abused, her family, the church, and the Kingdom of God.
Finding the truth that my relationship with my pastor was not an affair, but was in fact, an abuse of power, was the first step in my recovery. Several other myths were dispelled that brought additional healing. The truth sets us free. THOS has helped free countless lives who were bound by the brokenness caused by clergy sexual abuse.
THOS provides hope and encouragement that guide a victim to become a survivor. They offer support and truths that help survivors rebuild and strengthen their relationship with God. They have been instrumental to the healing my husband and I have experienced.
Every person impacted by clergy sexual abuse will find hope and healing from The Hope of Survivors!
The Hope of Survivors speaks truth that sets victims free to becoming survivors! Their constant message of abuse of power versus an affair is the foundation that allows victims to begin healing. My husband and I have benefited greatly from this organization. Every person who has ended up in a relationship with clergy will find hope and healing through The Hope of Survivors!
The Hope of Survivors provides a service for victims with infinite needs. I don't like that I have not yet recovered from what an ordained man did to me. But Denial does not work. It does not help me recover. Over the years the cost of his abuse cannot be measured in dollars. While it feels like the pain will never go away, it comforts me to have a place to go, knowing I can trust THOS will believe me. I am telling the truth. Years after the abuse I still need someone to help me accept it did happen. Not easy to do in a world that tells me I am lying. Without THOS some of us die, spiritually if not physically. THOS meets a need that is real, no matter how much we don't want to face the reality of that.
Hope of Survivors is saving lives. at a time believers/survivors of clergy sexual abuse need their religious/spiritual community more than any other, they are shunned. it reminds me of The Scarlet Letter. Hope of Survivors does not fail survivors the way a church can. Hope of Survivors does not betray survivors the way a church can. Hope of Survivors leads survivors to recovery, not to spiritual suicide.
I have worked with women officially world-wide for many years and know how prevalent this abuse can be and how often the victim cannot get support. I remember one case in Romania; it was heart breaking. And another in Australia--I was surprised how difficult it was there then to get help. I so wish there had been a Hope of Survivors then! That is one of the reasons I support THOS now
I have the greatest respect for what the Hope of Survivors does. I am one of their supporters and appreciate so much the frequent sportive updates and stories. This is certainly a ministry that is greatly needed; clergy abuse is not only overlooked, but the need for help is normally denied--"How could something so horrendous actually happen in the church." But it does, and THOS is there to help.
This not-for-profit has personally helped me when I felt more alone than I ever have in my life. They continued with me in support and love for almost two decades.
Hands down amazing!
THOS was a literal God-send on a few different levels of support to myself and other victims fighting a long-lasting legal battle. Samantha Nelson is such a rare jewel of a CEO as she has been so available and supportive personally to me and others. I can recommend them to any survivor needing help at a most vulnerable point in their life.
Hope of Survivors filled a huge need when I needed it most. So grateful for their help.
I first learned of this organization through the testimony of a friend. I immediately shared with another friend that benefited so much through their services. Later, I needed them for myself. I was hiding from everyone, a terrified victim of clergy sexual abuse. This organization connected me with counselors that helped me stand up and walk through the emotional valley of the shadow of death that I had fallen in. They helped me find a new life free from fear. It was hard to decide which role to select here because I am now a regular donor and a board member in one of the international divisions of this organization. I recommend them to every survivor of clergy sexual abuse.
When Clergy Sexual Abuse happened at our church I called The Hope of Survivors (THOS) for advice. Their advice gave me courage to tell the truth and be the voice for the voiceless. This organization is much needed ministry for churches all around the world. It's incredible that the website is in multi-languages to help and educate people. That is why I volunteer for this precious organization. Thank you, THOS!
I am acquainted with several cases in which The Hope of Survivors gave more than just hope--they gave real concrete help. I totally believe in this ministry and wish it were better known and promoted; I think Samantha does a great job and needs help, financially and from volunteers.
Samantha and Steve, The Hope of Survivors, literally saved me in many ways. Although I'm no longer religious in any way, I truly love and respect how they help survivors of pastoral abuse. They are wonderful people. I've had cancer before my abuse and went through pastoral counseling for my child abuse and was abused again. Had 3 kids I raised alone and went through this in 2000 to 2001. I was breaking down completely. They were there for me...even financially. I love The Hope of Survivors! I praise their dedication to victims. I've since been through almost death and a liver transplant then death again 5 times. I got through all that thus far the last 4 years and it was a lot because of the faith they had in me. I also try to give back.
Samantha and Steve have been such a godsend and blessing to me, God is working through them no doubt!!!
The Hope of Survivors fills a vital, mostly over-looked role. Serving those who have been abused by the very organizations and leaders who are supposed to serve them with integrity and godliness. They are totally dedicated and committed to leading survivors to a life of wholeness and healing.
Clergy sexual abuse is one of the most misunderstood types of abuses, and unfortunately, victims are horribly blamed and shamed. The Hope of Survivors is the one place where victims can go for real answers and genuine, compassionate support! I don't know what I would have done without them!
Like many people who contact the Hope of Survivors, I too was a victim of spiritual abuse and clergy sexual abuse. When the abuse was first discovered, I was blamed for seducing the pastor into having an affair. I was so confused because I had gone to him for counseling, not an affair. I felt like the church had set me up to fail and offered no support for someone in my situation. Even worse, I began doubting myself, feeling like I was losing my sense of reality and feeling like God was angry with me. Thank goodness there is a resource out there that can explain clergy sexual abuse so effectively and help victims heal from this type of trauma. I have personally contacted a representative from the Hope of Survivors, and she was so supportive in a beautiful, non-judgemental way! If it wasn't for this organization, I don't know what I would have done. The Hope of Survivors is a much-needed outreach for those who have been hurt by the church and who need to know there is a compassionate God who is for them!
Several years ago I went through ordeals (trouble, suffering) of sexual abuse by spiritual leaders. Keeping quiet & stuffing memories seemed the only way to struggle through. Others who experienced such came to me for guidance. Sadly at the time I the only thought that helped myself that I could share with them. “We are not alone.” I did learn what my denomination said was suppose to happen. But sadly reality was different. Without help from rare people such as The Hope of Survivors (THOS) I know at least one of the other has died.
Recently “clergy” sexual abuse (csa) has come up in conversations. I am very grateful that I can share THOS information & material with them. Just the other day I experienced THOS from a different prospective that greatly pleased me. Someone else brought up how THOS had helped folks in a church in their community.
The Hope of Survivors’ influence people far beyond those in personal contact or attending a seminar or stopping by THOS booth. Folk in communities are learning of THOS resource even before they have a direct need.
The needs are great. Resources are stretched. To me The Hope of Survivors definitely worthy of help.
Do you know the feeling of being emotionally alone, abandon? Have you ever felt God left you or was like some two faced person? I have
Directly & indirectly I have been affected by clergy sexual abuse (csa) all my life. I have been part of churches who keep cycling through sexual abuse by spiritual leaders. Few in the churches acknowledge there are wounded. No one, including me, seemed to know how to cleanse & heal or stop the cycle.
Why didn’t I leave? Because I want a relationship with a loving God who I felt safe getting close to. Other options appeared, to me, less likely to find that relationship than in my “sinking” churches. I clung to the hope that somewhere I would find at least one safe person who had the answer & would share with me.
While attending a convention I came across The Hope of Survivors booth.I found more than one safe person who shared. That was a turning point. I did not experience instant healing from a lifetime of csa. But The Hope of Survivors did not abandon me. They have walked beside me for years since then.
The Hope of Survivors does more than help those hurt by sexual abuse by spiritual leaders. They help others learn how to create safe places, build relationships & lend a hand. This also requires time & money.
I gladly contribute time & wish I was in a financial position to also contribute a lot of much needed money.
How much would you give by word, action or money not to feel alone or abandon? How is your relationship with God? Could you, would you share that relationship with a hurting person?
My pastor was mentoring me while I led a women's Bible study. He began dropping sexual comments into our conversations, and they were so subtle at first that I wasn't sure I'd heard him correctly. He began telling me that he loved me, that I was his soul mate and spiritual advisor, and he said we were having a "spiritual affair." He wanted to talk about intimate subjects rather than Scripture. He groomed me relentlessly. I needed his help so was afraid to tell anyone what was happening, and I began feeling emotionally bound to him. My husband confronted me about 8 months in, and together we went to our Bishop. During this time, I couldn't have survived emotionally without the help of THOS. They were the ones who told me the truth about what had happened to me - that this was clergy abuse - and the ones who helped piece me back together again. They were there for me every step of the way with kindness and patience. I am forever grateful to Samantha Nelson and THOS for saving my sanity.
Sex abuse is horrific. A place no one ever wants to be. Then for it to be a "trusted" representative of "God" when you are seeking help!
The mental, emotional and psychological anguish is overwhelming. IN COMES THOS ... without which there is no survival. They are professional, informative, and supportive. And then continue to provide support and information ongoing.
FEW HAVE ANY UNDERSTANDING the magnitude of SPIRITUAL SEXUAL ABUSE !
The devastation that follows having not only threatened neurological / physiological impact of a human body, but the mind and spirit after years of RELIGIOUS grooming, bonding, and associations of GOD and a charismatic man who many refuse to believe that not only did he "groom" one but MANY [who often fear to come forward due to the repercussions and implications for that person/ 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police; 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.] This man's child found videos of multiple victims and still people wanted to excuse "affairs".
I could not have recovered (and am still in the process years after....medically, emotionally, socially, and SPIRITUALLY) but HOPE OF SURVIVORS
-held my hand.
-attended confrontations with staffs.
-provided support GROUPS and online services (24/7)
and honestly was my ONLY HOPE!
I'm so thrilled for their
I am a survivor TODAY because of Samantha and her team
An absolutely invaluable resource of hope, truth and healing.
Would not be here without The Hope of Survivors.
The Hope of Survivors is an incredible resource for survivors of clergy sexual abuse and their family members! They are there to counsel and guide individual survivors out of the horror they have experienced. They educate survivors and the general public, and to help prevent CSA like no other organization that I know!
We used their expertise when presenting a bill in Maine making clergy sexual contact with congregants illegal, joining 12 other states and D.C. which already make it illegal. One of those states, Texas, has such a law which Pastor Andy Savage could have been tried under, had the Statute of Limitations not expired. Their bill was signed into law by then Texas Governor George Bush.
We will be going back in the next regular session with an amended version based on Minnesota law, which has been on the books for 33 years. It has withstood all legal and Constitutional challenges, and it is very effective in reducing clergy sexual abuse.
The Hope of Survivors has been and will continue to be with us every step of the way as we seek to get the law passed in Maine. All other states should enact CSA laws, as state borders should not dictate who is protected and who is not.
Keep up the great work that you do, THOS!
THOS is an incredible resource for individuals who have experienced clergy sexual abuse, and for ministries struggling with the after effects of it being made public in their respective communities of faith. They helped my wife and me understand the truth of CSA. They have been a great resource in our efforts to bring legislation here to Maine; making sexual contact by a clergy member with a congregant illegal. 13 states and D.C. presently have such laws, with a number of CSA survivors starting the process of initiating bills in their respective states. Keep up the great work The Hope of Survivors!
When I told my story to a licensed therapist I thought I was confessing to an "affair". Through her words I began to see what I had experienced was CSA. But I couldn't wrap my head around it. How could I not be guilty? He had told me that we were having an affair even though I had never wanted any of it. I started to do some research on my own on line. And I found THOS. Praise God I did. Their information was a true God send and helped me during the worse 2 years of my life. I thank God for them and this resource.
I can't go into the details of my experience at this moment, but I can say with confidence that THOS was absolutely vital in helping me break free of the chains of an abusive "pastor". I was under his control from the age of 19 for almost 7 years. I endured the worst of the abuse in the last 3 of that, but I am SO thankful for THOS. It helped me fully realize that what I experienced was in fact abuse and nothing less. The peer counselor provided to me by them and the amazing resources on the website were and continue to be invaluable to me as I continue to heal from this experience. Thank you THOS for doing what you do. You were pivotal in my rescue from abuse.
THOS has always been there even 7 years later. They never leave you to deal with emotions you thought you had put to rest. Im thankful everyday i know at anytime i have someone who knows my pain and can help.
Words cannot express the gratitude that I have for the profound kindness that The Hope of Survivors has shown my husband and me during some of the darkest days and nights of our souls. Their experience, knowledge, faith, and deep care provided us with the essential spiritual nourishment, guidance, and support that we desperately needed after recovering from years of clergy abuse. THOS is led by a truly dedicated and loving team of people who have either been there themselves and/or have deep compassion for those of us experiencing despair from the horrors of clergy abuse. My husband and I are forever grateful to THOS.
THOS and its people are truly sincere, compassionate, and deeply dedicated to supporting anybody who has been devastated by the exploitation and abuse of spiritual leaders. They are willing to help anyone in crisis or need and will pour their hearts and soul into offering hope to survivors of clergy abuse regardless of their religion or denomination. They care. They really care. And they will remain at your side the entire way. I know and my husband knows how precious this organization and its people are. They walked beside us both during some of the darkest days of our lives, and we are forever grateful.
I did not know this existed until I googled looking for help and I do mean help to overcome the utmost betrayal in my life. Mary Jo listen and when I needed to talk she was their. I not quite were I need to be yet but I have came along way away from that horrifying place I placed in. Li
This nonprofit has not only been a well of information to my experience with CPSA. Samantha has been faithful in helping me to fulfill Ph.D requirements for my dissertation topic. I look forward to being a blessing to them in a tangible way. Their services and information sources are invaluable. Thanks Hope of Survivors for all you do and for the many souls that are being blessed by and through your ministry.
The Hope of Survivors has been a safe place for me that provided the support needed after being deeply hurt by my pastor. Having experienced clergy sexual abuse, I did not find help or healing from my church. There was nowhere to turn for answers until I found The Hope of Survivors. It is a community of survivors working to regain a relationship with God in a safe environment; people who understand the damage caused by clergy abuse. It is a lifeline and a bridge to help victims become survivors.
I was being mentored in a new program by an elder in my church. I became emotionally involved with him and told him to stay far away from me, which meant no more hugging, no more telling me he loved me, and no communication, period. He would not leave me alone and eventually invited me to have a "physical affair without emotions." He said he had been looking for someone to have a physical relationship with him. I told him I could not do it and told my husband and pastor. The pastor was understanding at first but eventually turned on me and told me to keep quiet about the whole incident. He did not tell the other elders and allowed the affair seeking elder to continue in his position. My Pastor blamed me for allowing a person of the opposite sex to mentor me and swept it under the rug. I left feeling ashamed because of my emotional involvement and because I had allowed the elder to mentor me. I was devastated because I had been in my church for 20 years. Tammy, from Hope of Survivors, helped me understand it was not my fault and the elder is in a position of authority. She even called me by phone twice to be sure I was ok. I received no support from my pastor and he even gave my husband the name of a church he thought we would like. It will be a long time before I trust another pastor. We have left our church. I am thankful to Hope of Survivors for the amazing service they provided. Tammy went above and beyond in a way I never expected from someone who didn't even know me. Thank you so much for this support!
The Hope of Survivors is exactly THAT.... hope in the midst of hopelessness. There is a need for education to the public and churches regarding the CRIME that has been committed against an innocent victim . Understanding the vulnerability of a person who was seeking support only to meet abuse is such a delicate issue and we know often goes unreported. Knowing that THOS is not only a website with significant information but is backed by real people who show up at your home to provide the education and emotional support needed at a time of devastation is valuable to transform to survivor. I don't know how I could have survived without this information and people to communicate with, classes to attend and HOPE beyond abuse.
Changed my life. I don't where I would be today without this organization. I wish there were more out there like this.
The abuses they deal with are very real & damaging on many levels. Samantha has helped several of my International friends who were dealing with very painful Clergy abuse.
I am so greatful to have this Godly group of helpers to recommend to my friends/acquaintances, to come along side during the most painful time of their lives.
The Hope of Survivors has helped countless people. They provide vital resources through their well-designed website, and give personal care to people who call and write in. The organization is well-run, efficient, transparent, and in perfect line with its mission statement. Staffed largely by volunteers, it exists because of the passion and vision of those involved.
The Hope of Survivors is the only safe place we could turn to, when my wife was exploited by the pastor for his selfish gratification. We were both betrayed by our trusted pastor. Our church was of little help - partly because they too were shocked and confused by the horrific actions of the pastor they have been calling "God's Chosen Man" for years. Our church was ill equipped to deal with this tragedy, or provide any real help to us.
That's why I am so grateful for the Hope of Survivors for providing hope and healing during our darkest times. May God continue to bless you and give you strength to press on.
This organization is amazing. I am a clergy sexual abuse survivor and was in the midst of a bad flashback when I reached out - knowing I needed additional help. Their response was swift, and personal. It helped immensely in the short-term. They paired me up with a local support person, who is sweet and understanding. It was nice to have another non-judgmental ear.
I had been told prior to contacting THOS that I probably wouldn't resonate with their theology. This turned out to be true. But, I found some of the spiritual advice and resources to be helpful in using my relationship with God to heal from wounds caused by human beings claiming to represent God, and by human beings who couldn't be loving about my clergy abuse trauma because of their own limitations.
Amazing!! Love this organization. Thank you so much for all you do!
Hope of Survivors helped me move forward in healing after my experience with pastoral abuse! I read so many survivor stories and new that I wasn't alone! This organization is vital to the Body of Christ! It addresses a need that is prevelant but rarely acknowledged. I thank God for this organization and continue to share its ministry with others who have faced similar hurts and pains. May God continue to bless them and supply all of their needs according to His riches and glory!!
The Hope of Survivors is not just an organisation. They are real people making a real difference in real peoples lives. They have helped me immensely through difficult times of abuse AND by pointing me to Jesus and showing me what a true relationship with him looks like. To God be the glory for the great things they are doing in so many lives!
I have had such a wonderful experience with The Hope of Survivors. They have always been patient, encouraging, and helped get me through my abuse. It helped to provide healing and know that I still have a future. They were always here for me when I needed them and they will always be dear to my heart :)
I don't know what I would have done without help from The Hope Of Survivors when I left my church because of clergy sexual abuse. They were very understanding because they knew what I was experiencing. Thank you so much for what you do. God Bless.
This organization was there when no one else could/would help. Without their care and support, my life and marriage would not be where it is today. They were a huge step in the healing process and continue to be in our lives years later. You could not ask for better people as CEO and Co-CEO.
I have had immediate response to any emails that I have sent, and was able to connect with a volunteer in my city even. The information provided and the counselling and support have been invaluable to me.
I am a survivor. Have reached out a few times and have always gotten a response even though they couldn't really help. They have been supportive and check on me from time to time.
Hope of Survivors was a much needed resource to help me through the darkest days I had ever experienced at the hands of my pastors and the church leadership team. There are many resources for predator pastors but very little for the victims they have spiritually, emotionally and sexually perpetrated on. It was good to find the support that I needed when I really needed it. THOS has given me the courage to stand up, educate and fight for truth on this subject right where I am. Thank you so much!!
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.
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!
I was a secondary victim to the sexual abuse and manipulation that my wife was suffering from our minister.
The information that I gained access to, through The Hope Of Survivors website, has enabled me to become a survivor !
The help and support that we have received from THOS has been immeasurable, a real life line to us.
After a number of years learning about this kind of misconduct through THOS I have become fully aware of the devastation that it brings, not only to the victims but also to the wider body of the church.
I now have a real insight through my own experiences and can now show much needed empathy towards other victims particularly husbands and other secondary victims.
Through my experiences I am now able to try to help others to understand what has happened and to be able to support them and give them hope, and also to show that it is possible for a family to survive these ordeals.
My wife and I are now the UK representatives for THOS. We hope to be able to give the support, love and care that we ourselves where blessed to receive to others ,who will unfortunately go through these experiences.
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.
I can personally say that this ministry called THOS, The Hope of Survivors, has helped many, many victims of abuse. Steve and Samantha Nelson are two of the most loving, serving and dedicated people I know. May God bless you both.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Thank-you so much for your help and support to our family thus far, we really appreciate your very quick response to our email thanks so much. May God bless this ministry in a might way.