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!
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!
The Hope of Survivors helped us through the most painful time of our lives, and we will forever be grateful to them for being there. They inspired us to host our own CSA educational website for five years, and were there with encouragement and support every step of the way. Most recently, they have helped us with the introduction of a law in our state, which will add clergy to the other professionals in which sexual contact with those under their care is illegal.
This is a movement that is starting to be engaged across our country, with 13 states having already adding clergy to their existing laws. If it weren't for THOS and the education they provide, perpetrators would still be operating in the dark, destroying lives and families as they prove to be "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing". May God richly bless THOS as they continue shining a light on CSA, and in the most important work that they do!
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?
THOS has always been there even 7 years later. They never leave you to deal with emotions you thought you had put to rest. Im thankful everyday i know at anytime i have someone who knows my pain and can help.
Words cannot express the gratitude that I have for the profound kindness that The Hope of Survivors has shown my husband and me during some of the darkest days and nights of our souls. Their experience, knowledge, faith, and deep care provided us with the essential spiritual nourishment, guidance, and support that we desperately needed after recovering from years of clergy abuse. THOS is led by a truly dedicated and loving team of people who have either been there themselves and/or have deep compassion for those of us experiencing despair from the horrors of clergy abuse. My husband and I are forever grateful to THOS.
THOS and its people are truly sincere, compassionate, and deeply dedicated to supporting anybody who has been devastated by the exploitation and abuse of spiritual leaders. They are willing to help anyone in crisis or need and will pour their hearts and soul into offering hope to survivors of clergy abuse regardless of their religion or denomination. They care. They really care. And they will remain at your side the entire way. I know and my husband knows how precious this organization and its people are. They walked beside us both during some of the darkest days of our lives, and we are forever grateful.
I did not know this existed until I googled looking for help and I do mean help to overcome the utmost betrayal in my life. Mary Jo listen and when I needed to talk she was their. I not quite were I need to be yet but I have came along way away from that horrifying place I placed in. Li
The Hope of Survivors has been a safe place for me that provided the support needed after being deeply hurt by my pastor. Having experienced clergy sexual abuse, I did not find help or healing from my church. There was nowhere to turn for answers until I found The Hope of Survivors. It is a community of survivors working to regain a relationship with God in a safe environment; people who understand the damage caused by clergy abuse. It is a lifeline and a bridge to help victims become survivors.
I was being mentored in a new program by an elder in my church. I became emotionally involved with him and told him to stay far away from me, which meant no more hugging, no more telling me he loved me, and no communication, period. He would not leave me alone and eventually invited me to have a "physical affair without emotions." He said he had been looking for someone to have a physical relationship with him. I told him I could not do it and told my husband and pastor. The pastor was understanding at first but eventually turned on me and told me to keep quiet about the whole incident. He did not tell the other elders and allowed the affair seeking elder to continue in his position. My Pastor blamed me for allowing a person of the opposite sex to mentor me and swept it under the rug. I left feeling ashamed because of my emotional involvement and because I had allowed the elder to mentor me. I was devastated because I had been in my church for 20 years. Tammy, from Hope of Survivors, helped me understand it was not my fault and the elder is in a position of authority. She even called me by phone twice to be sure I was ok. I received no support from my pastor and he even gave my husband the name of a church he thought we would like. It will be a long time before I trust another pastor. We have left our church. I am thankful to Hope of Survivors for the amazing service they provided. Tammy went above and beyond in a way I never expected from someone who didn't even know me. Thank you so much for this support!
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.
The Hope of Survivors was a supportive and insightful ministry that reached out to me in a time of shock and huge life changes post abuse. I was thankful for their support, the kindness they gave, the educational seminar that was presented, and the prayerful interest in my journey of healing.
The Hope of Survivors is exactly THAT.... hope in the midst of hopelessness. There is a need for education to the public and churches regarding the CRIME that has been committed against an innocent victim . Understanding the vulnerability of a person who was seeking support only to meet abuse is such a delicate issue and we know often goes unreported. Knowing that THOS is not only a website with significant information but is backed by real people who show up at your home to provide the education and emotional support needed at a time of devastation is valuable to transform to survivor. I don't know how I could have survived without this information and people to communicate with, classes to attend and HOPE beyond abuse.