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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

155 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my husband came across THOS on the internet, it was the starting point for my healing from clergy sexual misconduct. The counseling I received from THOS helped quiet the shaming voices that were telling me that it was all my fault. I was able to unburden myself in a safe environment, receive education on CSA/CSM, and have hope that tomorrow will be a better day. With the Lord's help, THOS saved my sanity - and my marriage.

Review from Guidestar

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Even though I knew in my heart that other woman where involved with my pastor, I didn't realize fully the extent and number of pastors that lead woman into illicit relationships. The Hope of Survivors web site information educated me. For whatever reason, I found it difficult to see the evilness in my pastor's attentions. I wanted to believe the best of him. The Hope of Survivors counsel via Samantha allowed me to see that what happened was Pastoral Sexual Misconduct. I'd thought of it as an emotional affair. Now I realize that not only did my pastor neglect to set professional boundaries, he also carefully and secretly crafted, at the church no less, opportunities to seduce me into a sexual relationship with him. His colleagues and wife covered for his sometimes blatant come-ons toward me.
When I complained to the conference officials my report did nothing. The pastor was believed and I was not, because I hadn't collected enough evidence to substantiate my complaint. THOS has provided support to me when no one else would. After dealing with the one pastor who manipulated me, I've met other church leaders that behave in a similar controlling manner. Most recently at a church school where I worked, I endured sexual harassment and discrimination. My only place to turn has been THOS. Anywhere else I was sure to be seen as unstable. Needless to say, my health has been negatively affected by these experiences. The on going ministry of THOS encourages me. I believe the Holy Spirit is using the ministry of THOS to not only help victims, but also to bring change in the church by their presence at General Conference meetings, television appearances, and their dedication to help and educate about this problem. A problem that has been in the church far to long.

Review from Guidestar

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The need for reform in the clergy abuse field is shown in the fact that The Hope of Suvivors has gone international in such a short time. We have all known for a long time that an intervention to help these victims move on with their lives is so important. THOS helps the victims regain their self respect and their lives. Hopefully I will never need their services....but, for those that need to obtain council for clergy abuse, we can only pray they find THOS. Finding them will be helped by grants and donations that allow them to send out information and for seminars.....this is a chairity that helps abused victims everyday.
Freda

Review from Guidestar

3

Client Served

Rating: 4

After it was exposed that my Pastor was in MANY abusive relationships and I was only ONE who suffered, Hope of Survivors was a rare gem that guided me, encouraged me, admitted with me, and informed me.
SO MANY expressed hopelessness..... "why would you tell this?" (to stop the abuse) and "what do you hope to accomplish?" (stop the abuse) "How could you HURT his reputation?" (to stop his sickness and stop his abuse) ... Thank you HOPE for Survivors for restoring HOPE!

Review from Guidestar

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have attended many conventions in which The Hope of Survivors have set their booth up, it is amazing how many hurting people out there who have experienced some type of private abuse issue in the past and have no one to share with. THOS turns nobody away. It is a powerful ministry.

Review from Guidestar

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Samantha and Steve were there for my fiance' and his family when he couldn't find anyone else to understand the devastation and resulting destruction of his family unit following the manipulation, grooming and betrayal of their trusted pastor. Samantha's emails enlightened him and enabled him to see that he wasn't alone in the despair that he felt. Steve counseled him and got him to understand the importance of forgiveness. The Hope of Survivors came to be at the same time my fiance' was looking for someone to help him through his crisis. Was it divine intervention? We think so!

Review from Guidestar

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am very thankful for the services that Hope for Survivors is providing. It has been encouraging to me in my personal abuse situation. Sexual abuse by clergy is a serious problem. Usually the victims are told to be quiet or something bad will be done to them. I personally have had that situation. Many religious organizations don't want to admit any of their clergy have a problem nor will they deal with it. Hope for Survivors has been and encouraging program to me for the last three years. Thank you so much.

This can be use for the campaign for money, but not my email address.

Review from Guidestar

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I will never forget the help Samantha and Steve gave me during my times of trouble with our church. They are a Godsend and I pray they will always be able to continue with their ministry. It is very important and I can't stress enough how much they were of service to me. I don't think I would have made it without their many calls. I was on the phone with them for days it seems and I was able to go on with my life after my experience with my pastor. They helped me to realize that he was not the "good person" I claimed him to be and that an experience with a pastor is not an affair but pastoral abuse. Please consider them for this grant.

Review from Guidestar