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!
Hope of Survivors helped me move forward in healing after my experience with pastoral abuse! I read so many survivor stories and new that I wasn't alone! This organization is vital to the Body of Christ! It addresses a need that is prevelant but rarely acknowledged. I thank God for this organization and continue to share its ministry with others who have faced similar hurts and pains. May God continue to bless them and supply all of their needs according to His riches and glory!!
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.
The Hope of Survivors is not just an organisation. They are real people making a real difference in real peoples lives. They have helped me immensely through difficult times of abuse AND by pointing me to Jesus and showing me what a true relationship with him looks like. To God be the glory for the great things they are doing in so many lives!
I have had such a wonderful experience with The Hope of Survivors. They have always been patient, encouraging, and helped get me through my abuse. It helped to provide healing and know that I still have a future. They were always here for me when I needed them and they will always be dear to my heart :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.