The Courage of a Warrior Mom

BCFS-Del Rio Helps a Domestic Violence Victim Start Over

Jhenovia Campbell had served our country in the United States Air Force, earned several promotions, and seen her share of tense situations as a service member. Ironically, one of her most harrowing experiences was when she decided to uproot her life to escape a domestic abuse situation. She chose to leave as a survivor, before becoming a victim.

As she loaded her 2-year-old daughter in the car, Jhenovia replayed in her mind the gut-wrenching decision to leave her teenage daughter behind in Georgia with a relative while she searched for peace and safety. With no more than a few dollars and the clothes they were wearing, Jhenovia and her toddler drove straight through to Texas, choosing Del Rio to seek immediate refuge with a friend.

Soon after her arrival, Jhenovia learned of BCFS Health and Human Services-Del Rio, where she met Family Violence Specialist Claudia Lopez. BCFS-Del Rio operates the Del Rio Domestic Violence (DRDV) program, providing safety, support and resources to victims of domestic violence. Through one-on-one support, legal assistance, emergency medical care and referrals for access to community resources, the DRDV program promotes violence-free relationships and community awareness through collaboration, public information, education and advocacy.

Jhenovia recounted her recent history and journey for Lopez, discussing how her commitment to her daughters led to her decision to flee a dangerous home environment. As they spoke, Lopez began carefully planning an effective strategy for Jhenovia’s recovery and reintroduction to a safe, stable and normal life.

“She had done her research and learned about BCFS-Del Rio,” recalls Lopez. “She made it clear she was ready for a change. We filed a protective order, contacted law enforcement in Georgia and obtained all the incident reports.”

“I was impressed with her demeanor and calm voice,” Lopez says. “After all the abuse, here she was standing tall and proud. Then it dawned on me that she was a warrior. The fact that she had served our country made her strong. She was eager to learn and not take any handouts. She values hard work and discipline, and I admire that about her, too.”

Through its Special Non-Residential Program, BCFS-Del Rio’s Domestic Violence Program helped Jhenovia find an apartment and provide her a few items to start a new home. She began her job hunt, and as the start of the school year approached, she coordinated the arrival of her oldest daughter, who would begin sixth grade in a new school. Jhenovia learned about additional community resources that helped empower her and her daughters, and she attended support groups and counseling sessions to help process the events of her recent past to recover from the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former spouse.

Through sheer determination, in just under 60 days in new surroundings, Jhenovia reclaimed her independence, fully aware that the scars of abuse, although in check, remain in her memory. She is gainfully employed and caring for her children. As a testament to her resiliency, unconditional love for her daughters, and strong self-image, Jhenovia is living a life free of the insecurity and uncertainty of domestic abuse.

“I knew she didn’t want to ask for help because she wanted to work and get things done with her own hard-earned money,” says Lopez. “Everyone, at some point, needs help. Thankfully, BCFS was there to offer a few important resources, a little hope, and a shot at a new beginning.”