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“We stand with victims everywhere”: Mayor Bill Saffo speaks at special dedication honoring victim of domestic violence

Breault’s daughter, Rachel Knowles was beside her mother when she died
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 10:21 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - People turned out at the Holly Tree Racquet & Swim Club Friday evening for a special dedication in memory of Mary-Ann Breault, a victim of domestic violence.

Breault was shot and killed by her husband December 7, 2021 beside the tennis courts at Holly Tree Racquet Club.

Breault’s daughter, Rachel Knowles was beside her mother when she died and she is using her mother’s story to create change in the domestic violence community.

Knowles unveiled a white memorial bench at the ceremony. She memorialized Breault as a “loving mother, bright light, and warrior woman.”

“On December 7, 2021, the Wilmington community lost a beautiful soul — my mother — to domestic violence,” said Knowles. “As painful as it is to do, I hope sharing her story will encourage the conversation to continue so that no one else has to say goodbye to their mother like I did.”

Mayor Bill Saffo and other dignitaries attended the dedication ceremony.

“Our community continues to grapple with the devastating events and ripple effects of that night,” said Saffo. “True to Wilmington’s spirit of resilience, neighbors continue to show up and support one another. I am in awe of Rachel’s commitment to channeling her grief and pain to bring awareness to such an important cause. We stand with victims everywhere and will work diligently to make Wilmington a safe place for everyone.”

A “Raise A Racquet Against Domestic Violence” tennis tournament that will benefit Wilmington’s local domestic violence shelter and services (DVSS) began Friday and will run through Sunday.

“Love shouldn’t hurt,” said Executive Director at DVSS Lauren Daley. “We can empower communities to fight domestic abuse by learning to recognize its signs, and by securing safe pathways for victims trying to leave abusive situations.”

Attendees were encouraged to wear purple to support domestic violence awareness.

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