the Hope of Survivors

THOS Blog Update—Annette Anderson

(From the April 2011 edition of HopeSpeak)

Annette AndersonMy name is Annette Anderson and I’m so glad to help manage the blog here at The Hope of Survivors. Like many of the volunteers at THOS, I too am a survivor of pastoral sexual abuse. As a part of my own healing journey, I’ve been actively learning and writing about this subject for the past 12 years.  

In our culture of Internet communication, blogging has become a vital tool for interactive conversation, with the ability to provide small bites of instant information in one place. The addition of a blog to the resource-filled THOS website is simply one more way to reach those who need vital info about pastoral sexual abuse.  

A blog format allows for current news snips, articles, and information about upcoming THOS events. It’s also a great place to share bits of encouragement related to pastoral sexual abuse—and to hear your thoughts along the way. 

Thanks to those of you who’ve stepped out on a limb and already left comments. Here’s part of what Judy shared in response to the blog post A Healing Friend:  

“After hiding my secret for 22 years, I have now reached a place where I have "finally" accepted God's grace and forgiven myself… Our only hope is to seek an environment where we are understood, and to do that perhaps it may be necessary to give a guide to women who are looking for a safe haven to worship…” 

On The Language of Pastoral Sexual Abuse, MJ had this to say: 

“What was most revealing to me is the truth that I would never have had feelings for my pastor had he not been a leader, in a position of authority… Never was I physically attracted to him, even during our physical relationship, it was completely emotional. How did I get that emotionally attached? I was groomed, so much so, that I believed our relationship was consensual.” 

And, one more snip from MJ on, It’s Not an Affair, It’s Abuse

“It is refreshing and encouraging to have this site for support and hearing the truth of pastoral affairs, speaking out against such men as not simply being 'just a man' but being an abuse of authority…” 

Ideally, this blog will be a place with many voices, from the wide circle of those who’ve experienced or observed sexual abuse by anyone in a role of spiritual authority. 

Please check in often at (note: there is no “the” in the name for the blog website address, as opposed to THOS main website). If you have blog ideas, or anything you’d like to share in the form of a post, please contact me

Rest assured that whatever you tell me, I’ll keep confidential, including your name and email address, unless you choose otherwise. I look forward to hearing from YOU!

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18