Yager's move to activism, or some say vigilantism, was driven by her own personal trauma. Born Billie Faye Wisen, she grew up as the daughter of a coal miner in West Virginia, according to writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely's article for Harper's Bazaar. Yager got married at 17 to Roger Jones, and the couple soon had a daughter named Michelle. She discovered that her husband was sexually abusing their daughter when she was only two years old. Yager walked in on her husband abusing the child, but her account of the incident wasn't taken seriously. Her husband had her hospitalized, claiming that she was mentally ill, per Time magazine.
Yager was medicated and given shock treatments, but she somehow managed to get out of the hospital. This incident was used against her during the custody battle, and she even ran away with Michelle for a while. Yager eventually returned, believing that her daughter testing positive for a sexually transmitted disease would be enough proof of her husband's abuse. Unfortunately, she was wrong. Jones ended up receiving custody of their daughter. Years later, he was convicted of molesting some young girls in Florida, according to the Sun Sentinel.