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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hope of Survivors

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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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 4

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.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a very effective and compassionate organization whose work deserves recognition and support. I have donated to them every year since 2009.

Previous Stories
6

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was worried at first about trusting the people at "The Hope of Survivors" with my story of clergy sexual misconduct. What if they didn't believe me? What if they didn't keep my information confidential? Worst of all, what if they didn't understand? Well, I was amazed at how they did understand. They understood more than anyone else, and they helped guide me through the difficult process of bringing a complaint and eventually telling my husband what happened. What's more, they shared the truth God's love for me when I most needed to be reminded of it. I have never been helped by any organization as much as I was by this one. If not for them, I would not have come through this as well as I did.

Review from Guidestar

4 Writer

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!!

3 Rickie G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

7 Robert Peck

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Steve and Samantha reach out to help victims of clergy sexual abuse through their organization The Hope of Survivors. They are a loving, caring couple who were victims of clergy abuse and have dedicated their ministry to assisting other victims in recovery from clergy abuse. They are professional in their presentations and can be very helpful to congregations to be proactive against clergy abuse as well as helping victims.

Previous Stories
6

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Iowa-Missouri Conference is pleased to have The Hope of Survivors ministry located within our conference territory. Steve and Samantha are an exceptional ministerial couple that have been a blessing to the members and pastoral families within our conference. Their ministry is timely and life changing especially for those who have been victims of pastoral abuse. The quality of training and education they deliver is such that they are in demand as speakers nationally and internationally. Join me in praying for God's continued blessing upon their unique ministry.

8 Andys

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From victim to volunteer! People from all over the world are having to turn to this vital organisation for help, because there is so little support for them locally. The Hope of Survivors is the only understanding and hope offered for some victims. We will never know how many people are not victims because of the work they do in educating Churches. I look forward to being a small part of making THOS known about and helping victims all over the world.

Previous Stories
9

Client Served

Rating: 5

After my relationship with my pastor had gone from professional to personal I came across THOS website. The things I read on there were so helpful I can not begin to describe it. The things I read were so accurate and after reading them I was able to really absorb what was happening to me. I was able to show the site to close friends, then my husband and my church leaders. I am in no doubt that without the help of THOS I would never have exposed what was happening to me, my husband would have struggled to gain any understanding and my friends would not have had enough knowledge to support me and my family. A predator has been removed from ministry largely because of the work of THOS. The work they do is absolutely critical and there are so few organisations out there in the world that can really help like they have myself and so many others. I am in the UK and still they were able to reach out to me from the USA.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is utterly unique in its purpose and so responsive to the people it serves. They do everything possible both to help survivors and to create systematic change. If you email them, even with a rambling email about what you've been through, a real person responds within 12 hours. They make you feel like a person. Even when I donate, I get a personalized email from the founder asking about my family and how I'm doing. They are ambitious in their dreams, creating a new recovery center that I wish had been there when I was suffering. Every year they help anonymous thousands. I cannot recommend them enough.

6 June W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I emailed the co-founder of The Hope of Survivors, she called me and prayed with me and listened to my story. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a pastor. I found the HOPE of SURVIVORS website when I was doing research for my screenplay about a survivor of clergy abuse and I am so grateful for the helpful articles, videos and booklets The Hope of Survivors provide on their website. I look forward to attending their retreat in Iowa and working with them to help survivors of clergy abuse around the world.