the Hope of Survivors

Why Help?—Part 6: We Rely On Your Support—Mary Jo Huels-Noworyta

Lifeline The Hope of Survivors has been in existence since 2002, providing help to victims of clergy sexual abuse when no other organizations were available.

After being abused by their spiritual leader, many victims face financial struggles that result from lost wages and physical ailments. The church has not yet stepped up to the plate and taken on their responsibility of helping victims who were abused by their leaders.

When the church turns its back on the members of their congregations who have been abused by clergy, The Hope of Survivors is there to help pick up the pieces of their lives that have been shattered. Many have described us as their lifeline, a place of hope, and a bridge that leads a victim to becoming a survivor. It’s rare to find an organization that offer these services.

Through email and phone communication, victims often mention the weight that was lifted after finding someone to talk to who understands exactly what they are thinking and feeling. They have an advocate, someone who will share their burden, with compassion and sensitivity. They find hope, knowing there are other victims who have healed and are now survivors!

The services provided by The Hope of Survivors are free or minimal cost and are unprecedented:

  • Email and phone support for victims - no cost.

  • In-person meetings (a few hours or so) - no cost.

  • In-house programs - cost is personal traveling and lodging expenses and a donation, if possible.

  • Victim seminars and conferences - cost: $25-$50 per person, unless there’s a sponsor for the event or the meeting room is free. This fee covers meals and meeting room.

  • Church/clergy seminars and conferences - cost: travel expenses (airfare, car rental, hotel, etc.) along with an honorarium or church offering of $500.

My challenge to you is to find an organization that offers help and immediate support to victims of clergy abuse with the added element of not charging a single penny. The Hope of Survivors is well aware of the financial strains often faced by victims and their families. We are well aware that the church has not yet come alongside those its leaders are abusing, leaving the victims alone in their pain. Finally, we are well aware of our dependency on individual supporters who allow the work to continue.

Why help? Because there is no other place who offers these services at little to no cost and to continue, we rely on your support.

Please consider joining our fight to end clergy abuse and provide help to its victims.

Thank you!

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