Like many families, the Henry family (Black Ink Crew Chicago star Ryan Henry, sister Jillian Henry and Mother, Yolan Henry) know firsthand what it is like to lose a loved one to domestic violence. In January 2009, the family of Nova Henry, 24, and her 10-month-old daughter Ava lives changed forever. Nova and her daughter Ava were murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Their murderer sits in prison today, convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2013. For the Henry family, the healing process is an ongoing journey.
Following her daughter and granddaughter’s tragic death, mom Yolan Henry is now a staunch advocate for both victims and survivors. A survivor herself, she uses her life experience to advocate for victims and survivors. Nova’s brother, Ryan Henry, is the star of VH1’s Black Ink Crew Chicago. He credits his sister with pushing him to pursue his dreams of becoming a tattoo artist. Nova’s younger sister, Jillian, and her best friend, Dr. Rashonda Jones, work with women and young girls with G.I.R.L. (Grow, Improvise, Rise, Live), a women’s empowerment and mentoring organization. G.I.R.L. offers free programs, including Domestic Violence Support. The deaths of Nova and Ava Henry pushed them into action with each of them becoming domestic violence advocates.
Today the family of Nova and Ava Henry, (Ryan Henry, Jillian Henry, and Yolan Henry) opens up about educating others on what Domestic Violence is and how it has affected them.
For more information on G.I.R.L, please visit their website www.girlsimproving.org.
Danielle Sanders is a journalist and writer living in Chicago. Find her on social media @DanieSandersOfficial.