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!
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.
I came across The Hope of Survivors after experiencing Clergy Sexual Abuse five years ago. They offer hope, healing, and support to victims by teaching the truths and dynamics of CSA. After a few years of healing and reading the wealth of information on their website, I became a volunteer in victim support services. What shocked me the most was the number of victims who are suffering in silence because they are too afraid to speak, or suffering because they are blamed and feel at fault for an act of abuse they endured. The most important truth THOS is working endlessly to promote is that any time a spiritual leader has a relationship with someone under their care, it is not an affair; it is abuse. THOS is vital to the church's healing by promoting the truths and dynamics of CSA as well as offering hope to its victims.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a member of the clergy when I first heard about this ministry was skeptical. It felt like they were out to damage the reputation of clergy. After many conversations with Steve Nelson i finally decided to give the ministry a chance. When they were working on translating information about the ministry in spanish I volunteer to help. Through this experience I learned about their story, what let tgem to engage in this ministry and the journey of healing that GOD had let them through before thy were in a place where they can help any other victim of clergy abuse. It was as I learned their stoy and joirney and eard from people that the ministry had helped that I became convinced that GOD is leading their ministry and enabling it to be a source of hope, peace, and companion on a joirney back to GOD to victims of clergy abuse.
Pr. José L. Medina Jr.
Having been sexually abused by my youth pastor at age 16 and waiting over thirty years to finally confront him for his actions against me, it was The Hope of Surviors who was able to help me to continue in my journey of healing. Having been sexually abused by someone you have such trust and in a place where one should feel the safest, the church leaves a hurt and confusion so profound finding one's way back seems impossible. It was through the Hope of Surviors I found understanding and support to guide me and allow healing to begin. The Hope of Surviors is exactly as they describe themselves...."A ministry of compassion, support, hope and encouragement."
I first contacted The Hope of Survivors when I was supporting a friend who had been abused at our local church. This organisation provided me with support and education to cope with what was happening at our local church. The help was invaluable and help that could not be found elsewhere as their resources are so specific to this problem. After time I joined the organisation as a volunteer to share the hope and support that I had been given with others.
Review from Guidestar
When I first stumbled across The Hope of Survivors, I was looking for a translation job English to German. I had no idea about the amount of clergy sexual abuse before. As I read about an estimated number of some ten thousand cases in the US alone, I imagined a huge map of the United States and ten thousands of needles covering it. In my mind, I could not see even a little town in which no needle was stucking. It was this picture of broken souls and lifes which reinforced my decision to do my job voluntarily.
Review from Guidestar