Sloan: Teaching young to slay dragons

Amanda Campbell is trying to be the person she never had growing up.

Campbell, 37, never knew her father, and said she was verbally, physically and sexually abused by some of her mother’s boyfriends.

Wendel Sloan

Wendel Sloan

“We moved often into trailer parks, condemned buildings and campgrounds. We survived on welfare, government cheese and peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches,” Campbell said. “Growing up is hard enough, but when you have no self-esteem, self-confidence and raggedy clothes, you are a walking target.”

She was 10 when she went shopping for the first time with her two brothers during a VFW-sponsored $100 Christmas shopping spree at Kmart.

She had her first child at 16 after “some boy whispered sweet nothings in my ear and it ended with me giving birth alone.”

Her other two children were the result of a five-year relationship. She was working road construction when she met her current husband in 2006.
Campbell, who completed seventh grade at Clovis’ Yucca Junior High and her GED at a New Mexico girls’ school, says her mother endured a hard childhood, with no parenting role models.

“Life has not been an easy road for her, but she has a beautiful soul. I hope she finds the ability to escape this generational abuse and become a healthy, well-rounded version of herself,” she said.

At 11, when she met her mother’s relatives, it was the first time she’d known anyone who was married.

Campbell’s younger brother, 35, is serving a life sentence in Florida for criminal sexual penetration of a minor.

Another family member has been booked on child molestation charges. His alleged victims are also family members.

She has quit her job to devote more time to helping the minors and adults involved. As a result, she is in financial straits and has a gofundme page she calls the Cost of Battle. She is fighting for herself, and the next generation.

“These situations get swept under the rug far too often, leading to broken people, drug and alcohol abuse and dysfunctional relationships,” Campbell said.

“It’s about protecting our children and raising them not to be defeated, but to breathe fire, fight monsters and slay dragons.”

Contact Wendel Sloan at