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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Human Service Organizations, 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

88 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!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Changed my life. I don't where I would be today without this organization. I wish there were more out there like this.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Hope of Survivors is one of a kind! It is a much needed life support for many that find themselves in a horrible situation of being betrayed by their spiritual leader. Without this organization, their staff and volunteers, and their amazing website, many in this sad situation would find themselves without any help or support. I was a victim of pastoral sexual abuse and when it came out, I became a victim of an ignorant church that rallied around the abuser and ignored the victim. The wealth of knowledge found on their website, along with someone to talk to who understood, was what saved me from feeling like the only answer was suicide. They offer truth in the midst of so many lies and hope to what seems utterly hopeless.

Previous Stories
8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had no idea that the traumatic, devastating situation that was going on in my life had a name, clergy sexual abuse, or that anyone else was going thru what I was going thru. I was dead inside, a shell of a person, ready to end it all. My husband and I had no support, outside of our therapist, until we were told about The Hope of Survivors. Their ministry gave us life changing knowledge, support, and help that we needed so badly. It is a non profit organization that there is not enough of in this world today. This ministry is vital in the lives of so many victims out there that would otherwise be alone and without any support or help of any kind. When one suffers from clergy sexual abuse, not only are you abused by your so-called spiritual leader, but you are often times ignored and further abused by what is supposed to be your church family. Most people do not fully understand clergy sexual abuse and all its implications. The Hope of Survivors is doing the hard job of not only helping and supporting victims, but trying to educate churches, communities, and all people who will listen about what CSA really is, how to avoid it, how to deal with it, how to help....and this is all just the beginning of trying to stop it altogether.

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4

Client Served

Rating: 4

This organization is amazing. I am a clergy sexual abuse survivor and was in the midst of a bad flashback when I reached out - knowing I needed additional help. Their response was swift, and personal. It helped immensely in the short-term. They paired me up with a local support person, who is sweet and understanding. It was nice to have another non-judgmental ear.

I had been told prior to contacting THOS that I probably wouldn't resonate with their theology. This turned out to be true. But, I found some of the spiritual advice and resources to be helpful in using my relationship with God to heal from wounds caused by human beings claiming to represent God, and by human beings who couldn't be loving about my clergy abuse trauma because of their own limitations.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!!

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.

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7

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

5 Raquel M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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 :)

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

3

Client Served

Rating: 4

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.