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Woman fighting for domestic violence programs a year after shooting

By: WJAC Web Staff

PETERSBURG, Pa. -- A year after her ex-husband shot and wounded her and then shot and killed her son, a Huntingdon County woman is continuing her fight to bring attention to domestic violence issues and create a safe place for child custody exchanges in the county.

Hollie Ayers was shot in the face by her ex-husband, Kenneth Ayers, on March 23, 2013. After shooting her, Kenneth shot and killed their son, 2-year-old Michael, before shooting and killing himself.

A year after the horrific incident, Hollie has become an advocate for domestic violence awareness and is rallying for domestic violence programs, hoping to use her experience to help others in memory of her son.

"I had a friend say to me, 'You need to do what's best for you and Michael, and don't worry about what other people think,," Ayers said. "I took that to heart and I said that was one of the most empowering statements I could've ever been told in that point and time."

Hollie has been featured in national campaigns against domestic violence and is working to create the Michael Ayers Child Access Center and Huntingdon House. The center will be a safe place for parents to drop off their children for custody exchanges.

Hollie said she doesn't want what happened to her and her son to happen to anyone and that she's forever grateful to the people, many of them strangers, who are helping her out.

"I will never forget the people who helped to make sure Michael doesn't die in vain," Ayers said.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times