Shannelle Vogt’s Inspirational Story of Overcoming Intimate Partner Violence

JUNE 2022

Each month, the Family Law Group at Mills & Mills LLP delivers a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights to help people navigate through family and fertility legal challenges. The Family Law Group is comprised of Leanne Townsend, Chair, and includes associate lawyers Allie Cuperfain, Alyssa Warias, Alexandra Forsyth-Sells and Sadia Chowdhury, administrative assistants Mia Asido and Vicky Roy and law clerks Irina Kochkina and Clare Alcorn.

Leanne’s Divorcing Well podcast: Shannelle Vogt shares her story of overcoming intimate partner violence

Gender-based violence can affect anyone, regardless of their background, identity or circumstance. But research shows that women remain at the highest risk for domestic abuse, with one in four experiencing intimate partner violence during their lifetime.

On the premiere episode of season four of Divorcing Well, Leanne spoke with former Miss Canada Globe Shannelle Vogt who shares her story of being in an abusive relationship, and how she found the courage as a young mother to leave the relationship and begin the long journey of healing.

Like many people, Shannelle says she didn’t see her former partner’s controlling behaviour and constant check-ins as red flags, and eventually, the abuse escalated to physical violence and she became alienated from family and friends.

Shannelle’s story is featured in a new short documentary, Fault Lines. You do not want to miss this very inspirational conversation.

Listen on Apple or Spotify.

How to shield your children from the fallout of divorce

If you have separated from your partner and are planning a divorce, there are some things you can do to make the process easier for your children.

Firstly, avoid sharing too many details about why you’re getting divorced, cautions child psychologist Vincent Papaleo.

Secondly, “they do not want to carry messages between their parents or be responsible for their parents’ communication.” Also, “they do not want to hear their parents or others close to them speak badly about their parents.”

Papaleo, who recently appeared on the Parental as Anything podcast, says children have a smoother transition post-separation when they aren’t exposed to ongoing parental conflict.

“Many of the children I see say that their parents are constantly embroiling them, constantly telling their conflicting stories, speaking negatively and badly about each other,” he explained. “And for children that creates an unreasonable tension and conflict.”

Check out the podcast for more guidance on how to shield your children from the fallout of divorce.

Introducing Clare Alcorn, legal assistant and law clerk at Mills & Mills LLP Family Law Group

Please say hello to Clare Alcorn who recently joined Mills & Mills LLP’s Family Law Group as a legal assistant/law clerk.

Before graduating from the University of Guelph with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and public policy, Clare attended Seneca College where she received her diploma in the law clerk accelerated program. 

Before joining Mills & Mills LLP, Clare worked in a large corporate law firm. She enjoys family law for the challenge and the ability to make a difference in people’s lives.

If you would like to reach out to Clare, you can contact her here.

Highlights from Divorce Explained

Every week, Leanne Townsend co-hosts an Instagram Live show with family lawyer Steve Benmor, where they discuss issues on the minds of those who are divorced or divorcing. Here are the topics from a couple of recent shows. Click on the photo to check out the full episode.

How is the matrimonial home dealt with in divorce?

If you own a home when you get married, and you and your spouse live there until separation, your spouse is entitled to half of the equity in your home. On this episode, everything you need to know about the matrimonial home.

The debate over virtual court in a post-pandemic world

Virtual court hearings and tribunals became the norm during pandemic lockdowns, but are they here to stay? We discuss the benefits, drawbacks and considerations of in-person and virtual hearings on this episode.

Serving clients during COVID-19

As we continue to navigate the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic,
the safety and well-being of clients is our top priority. Social distancing is vital right now to prevent the spread of the virus so I will continue to work with clients through virtual meetings. If you have any questions or concerns about your family law matter or would like to schedule a meeting, please reach out to me by email.


Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics? 


Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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