Founder of French Charity Is Accused of Pattern of Abuse

New York Times

February 23, 2020

By Eva Mbengue

The French-based charity, L’Arche International, revealed that its founder, Jean Vanier, had engaged in “manipulative sexual relationships” with women from 1970 to 2005.

Feb. 23, 2020

Paris – The founder of a French charity who helped improve the lives of people with learning disabilities for over half a century had also engaged in “manipulative sexual relationships” with at least six women, the charity has revealed in a new internal report.

The report, released last week by the French-based charity, L’Arche International, said that Jean Vanier, the charity’s founder, had relationships with women from 1970 to 2005 that were at turns “inappropriate,” “coercive” or “non-consensual.” It also said he had a “psychological hold” over some of the victims.

None of the women who said they had been abused by Mr. Vanier had a disability. Some worked in the community, and some were nuns, according to the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.

Mr. Vanier, a Canadian religious leader who founded the charity in 1964, died in Paris last year at age 90.

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