Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hope of Survivors

10,608 pageviews

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Mental Health

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.

Community Stories

166 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1 Autumn B.3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

1 Mary Jo

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Previous Stories
8

Client Served

Rating: 5

After being pursued by my pastor that ended in a relationship, I was devastated. I researched 'pastoral affairs' and found The Hope of Survivors, a great source of encouragement and help. After years of healing and gaining emotional and spiritual support from a peer representative, I became a volunteer. In March of this year, I became a full-time employee, as Executive Assistant and Victim Support Coordinator. I am now able to spend more time working toward awareness and prevention while offering hope and healing to other victims.

Without The Hope of Survivors, I believe I'd still be lost in the pain and confusion of being abused by my pastor. The Hope of Survivors is a beacon of light to those living in the darkness of clergy sexual abuse. I am forever grateful to God for Samantha and Steve Nelson and this organization.

Read more
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

2 Charis B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hope of Survivors filled a huge need when I needed it most. So grateful for their help.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
5

Client Served

Rating: 5

We cannot survive without attachments. In a time of need, I turned to a professional, someone I had been taught in my childhood to be a representative of God. I developed an attachment to him. He told me there was no reason not to trust him. It turned out there were good reasons not to trust him the way I am meant to trust God.
I cannot imagine anyone going through an experience like mine without a resource like Hope of Survivors. They believed me.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1 Kimberley D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1 JanellS

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hope of Survivors has been a God-sent presence in my life. I was introduced to them in the wake of my world being shattered by the pain and recalibration after abuse from a renowned ministry leader. They supported me in my naming the abuse, the healing, the process of bringing accountability and exposure to my abusers, and the journey to reclaim life and joy after trauma. I am grateful for their role in my life. Profound and needed ministry.

Read more
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Samantha and Steve have been such a godsend and blessing to me, God is working through them no doubt!!!

1 rhartwell

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization helps so many in such a positive way, who have been victims of abuse and unproffessional conduct. They bring a positive spirit to those they help and the results and gratifying.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Previous Stories
8

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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?

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

3 Kimberly74

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
8

Client Served

Rating: 5

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
-educated me.
-held my hand.
-visited me.
-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

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

An absolutely invaluable resource of hope, truth and healing.
Would not be here without The Hope of Survivors.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Read more
1 Diane Kunze H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.