The Marie-Vincent Foundation was established in 1975 to serve the growing needs of children already receiving services from the Marie-Vincent Centre founded ten years earlier by Marguerite Séguin-Desnoyers. The Centre offered social, psychiatric, educational and psychological services to children aged 5 to 12 experiencing significant socio-emotional problems. Over the years, given the needs and the lack of available resources, the Foundation extended its field of intervention to children who are victims of sexual assault.
In 1994, the Québec government created youth centres and the Marie-Vincent Centre joined the Montréal Youth Centre. The Foundation decided at that time to part ways and redefine its mission to help children aged twelve and under who were victims of abuse.
In 2005, to celebrate its 30th anniversary, the Foundation created the Centre d’expertise Marie-Vincent and the Marie-Vincent Interuniversity Research Chair on sexual assault against children. This is how Marie-Vincent began offering direct services to children 12 and under who were victims of sexual assault and children with problematic sexual behavior. As the first Child Advocacy Centre (CAC) in Québec, the Marie-Vincent Centre brought all relevant services – police, medical, psychosocial and therapeutic – under one roof.
In 2016, the Foundation expanded its service offering to help adolescent victims of sexual violence and to help prevent sexual violence among children and adolescents.
In 2021, the service offering was again expanded to support children and adolescent victims of physical violence.
Ultimately, the goal of the Marie-Vincent Foundation is to help build a world free of violence.