Information about AVREF

In 1998 parents were confronted with the deterioration of the mental and physical health of their sons and daughters in a number of Catholic communities.  They initially thought they were isolated cases.  In order to help those concerned by these problems they got together and formed an association:
AVREF:  (Aide aux Victimes de mouvements Religeux, et à leurs Familles) :  Aid to the Victims of Religious Movements, and to their Families.
The Association is there to receive complaints, to advise and to support the families/friends or former members of these communities.
Its main object is to “warn, inform, help and comfort all persons victim, directly or indirectly, of sectarian drifts within various communities or movements of philosophic or religious nature, notably Catholic (Article 2 of the Statutes)”.

Our Actions

Today our Association brings together families and more and more former members of religious movements or communities/cults, as well as those who founded the Association.  We endeavour to help all victims (and their families/friends) of these movements, in France or abroad.

  • The families and friends grouped together with former community members who have re-integrated the life of lay-persons work together, side by side, in mutual respect.

Our object is to:

  • warn young people and give them a greater understanding of the techniques of mind control and manipulation.
  • Recognize psychological, cognitive, behavioural and emotional effects on victims after entering a dysfunctional community, identify pathways to remedy, and facilitate their return to normal civilian life.

Communicate and share the experiences of members and collateral victims: families and friends.

  • If you feel concerned, this site is for you: share with us your reactions, your fears, whilst at all times remaining anonymous, if you so wish.  It is absolutely normal that, given the nature of the subject, your confidentiality be preserved. However, you may also identify yourself, if you so wish.
  • The most important thing is not to remain isolated, free yourself by opening up.
  • Do not let long years go by before doing so: you are not the only person who has been abused.  Sharing with others who have known similar situations will bring freedom both to you and to those waiting for a message of hope.

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