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

2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hope of Survivors

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

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

18 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

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!

7 Mary Jo

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.

Previous Stories
7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Read more
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

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.

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.

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.

4 Heather Brockett

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is one of the best nonprofit organizations in the world. The cause they are combatting is so prevelent but is so hidden and disguised that it makes their job that much more difficult. There should be an award given for the kindness and acceptance that is shown to each victim by each and every volunteer. I was given the pleasure of meeting them and counseling with them in 2010 and my life will forever be changed and blessed by the healing that came from their counsel.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was personally helped by The Hope of Survivors after being a victim of abuse in my teens. After their loving guidance and counsel, I have now served as executive assistant for over a year.

The work that this organization is extremely critical and important. The victims that they counsel on a daily basis have been through hardships and trials that no one else understands. THOS offers free counseling for anyone who needs it. No one is ever turned away. Their expertise in the field is backed by years of experience, with many volunteers being victims themselves.

It has been an extreme privelege to work with The Hope of Survivors on a personal and volunteer level.

Review from Guidestar

4 José8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

3 Sandy41

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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."

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I appreciate "Hope for Survivors" for covering a special territory that has to do with human dignity. Setting no geographical, social, cultural or denominational limits, makes this ministry even more powerful. The healing process in the life of those who experienced abuses from the spiritual leaders, is not an easy one and ministries like "Hope of Survivors"are needed to bring hope in the life of the victims. Please, continue to ministry for those in need.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was good to have available professional help with the situations people face when they become victims of the clergy sexual or emotional abuse.
I know few people that were glad to find Hope of Survivors organization and to receive the appropriate help for their specifically needs. Unfortunately there are not many organization offering a trusting and holistic type of help like Hope of Survivors does. I hope that others will copy their example.

Review from Guidestar

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first heard about the Hope of Survivors I couldn't believe my eyes! Finaly somebody cared about these situations!
As a victim of abuse for a very long time in my life I told myselve: God is sooooo good and finaly somebody dared to do something for the victims of abuse. But what is more specific for this precious organisation is the fact that it deals with a very dangerous and subtle kind of abuse, the clergy abuse. This should never had happen under the sun!
I had the honour to edit the book written by Samatha Nelson for the edition in the Romanian language. Romania is a country which bears the consequencies of the communiste regime which meant abuse in all corners of life, including the church. Even today, after 20 years of communisme, nobody dares to speak up about his/her suferings. It was a victory that this book could be translated and be distributed in Romania. Many people, victims of abuse or friends of these victims welcame with all their heart this precious book.
I am praying day and night for the difficult work that Samantha Nelson, her husband and their team are doing for poor people who are so confused when in trouble with abuse. May the Lord have pitty of everybody !

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Hope of Survivors has been a tremendous support and help to me personally when I experienced the trauma of clergy sexual abuse. The hope and healing they provide is invaluable. I am now a victim support volunteer who works with THOS reaching out to victims of all denominations, in many different countries, who are also going through CSA. It is very important to have an organization such as THOS that is so readily available to women, men and teens who have no other place to turn to. They offer hours of free counselling to hundreds and no one is ever turned away. Since the founders of The Hope of Survivors, as well as many of the volunteers, have personally experienced the devastation of clergy sexual abuse they understand the deep dynamics of this misunderstood and particular abuse. I highly recommend them!

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For a victim of clergy abuse The Hope of Survivors provides such an important resource. When you find yourself in this situation it is a completely "taboo" subject and at times it feels like there is absolutely no one that you can talk to. THOS provides a safe place to share your experience. Reading the experiences of others has brought such healing and strength. When I experienced this abuse I didn't know of any resources like THOS provides. It would have made such a difference to know that there was someone else out there that had experienced this and could talk with me about it. It takes real courage for THOS staff and volunteers to share their experiences, but what amazing blessing it brings.

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a volunteer who's also been a client served by the ministry of The Hope of Survivors.

I discovered The Hope of Survivors through an online search. The support and understanding that I received helped me to know that I wasn't alone; that there were others who'd suffered through the same type of circumstances as myself.

I consider it a true privilege to work with this ministry. I'll never forget how desperate, shame-filled, and alone I once was, and how difficult it was to explain my troubles to the people around me.

With the prevalence of pastoral sexual abuse in Churches today, we need to educate our religious communities about the damage to wounded souls involved in this type of abuse. Bringing these issues out of the darkness and into the light is a big step toward both healing and prevention.

Thank you for your years of hard work in this area, THOS!

Review from Guidestar

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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