Nonprofit Helps Victims of Clergy Abuse
BEDFORD, Iowa, May 22, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Clergy sexual abuse. It should be an oxymoron, but we all know it isn’t. Can anyone do anything about it?
There is one group who for 13 years has been steadily moving to the forefront on the issue by helping victims heal, raising awareness among church leaders and organizations, and teaching prevention and recovery to anyone who will listen.
Thousands worldwide are taking note—and recovering.
The Hope of Survivors is exactly what their name conveys. Pastor Steve and Samantha Nelson founded the organization as a result of their own journey of recovery from a situation that neither saw coming as unsuspecting church members in 1999. They struggled to find the emotional and spiritual help they needed to escape their circumstances.
Today, the Nelsons, both credentialed in Christian counseling, lead seminars around the world, counsel couples and individuals, and offer victims comfort, healing, and restoration, and do so. And somehow, they do it all primarily on volunteer power and much-needed financial contributions.
Their focus is healing for all parties concerned. Their website, thehopeofsurvivors.com, is packed with advice and resources for victims, families, churches, and pastors. Victims who currently find themselves in the middle of an abusive situation will find help. Families of victims can learn how to support their loved ones. Anyone on any side of an abusive situation can get clarity, direction, and resources to resolve an abusive situation.
“Victims, who have placed their trust in clergy as God’s representatives to help them through difficult circumstances, often find themselves distrusting God Himself, and who can blame them?” says Samantha Nelson. “We work to restore a person’s faith by refocusing the responsibility on the perpetrator, off the victim, and off of God.”
“Because of the authority and trust placed on the clergyperson, the victim gets caught in a whirlwind of confusion and isn’t sure what is right or wrong; but there cannot be mutual consent between a pastor and a congregant due to the power imbalance. Victims may become physically sick, emotionally withdrawn, or suicidal. They want to know what is happening to them physically, mentally, and spiritually,” explains Nelson. “That’s where we can step in.”
For further information, contact Samantha Nelson at 866-260-8958 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Those who want to contribute securely online can do so at www.thehopeofsurvivors.com/donate.php, or by mail: The Hope of Survivors, 607 Jefferson Street, Bedford, IA 50833. The Hope of Survivors is a 501c3 non-profit organization.