June Michell, advocate for survivors of domestic violence and co-founder of Women Aware, has died

As a survivor of domestic abuse, June Michell dedicated her life to helping others.
As a survivor of domestic abuse, June Michell dedicated her life to helping others. Junie Michell/Facebook

June Michell, who was widely recognized as a devoted champion for victims of domestic violence in Montreal, has died.

“She was a phenomenal individual. One of the kindest-hearted people you will ever meet,” said Tyson McLellan, her son. “She wanted the best for everybody and saw the best in everybody.”

As a survivor of domestic violence, Michell dedicated her life to helping others in similar situations. In 1995, she help co-found Women Aware in Montreal.

READ MORE: How to support and respect survivors of family violence

The non-profit advocacy centre strives to end domestic violence against women, men and children. It also provides long-term support for victims, including psychological aid, home placement and clothing.

“Being a victim of it herself, [she was] able to overcome that and then further help others going through that,” said McLellan.
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The Montreal Council of Women honoured Michell in 2015 with the Woman of the Year award. She was recognized for her continued fight to end violence against women. Over the years, Women Aware has also been recognized at the local and federal levels for its help of survivors.

Michell passed away in her home over the weekend, according to McLellan. The cause of death has not yet been determined and her family is waiting on the coroner’s report.

READ MORE: Montreal march seeks to raise awareness about domestic violence

In her life, Michell not only helped those who were vulnerable ⁠— McLellan says she also had a way of making everyone around her feel comfortable. She had a particular knack for bestowing confidence on others.

“She just gave you this sense of knowing ‘Yes I can, I can do it actually,'” he said.

There is no information yet about a funeral service for Michell, but her son says those who want to honour her memory can do kind acts for others.

“She was a big fan of paying it forward and to be the change you wish to see in the world, which is a quote from Gandhi,” he said. “She was a very big fan of that, it was her email sign-off.”

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