I #StandwithSophie after she escapes abusive household

I+%23StandwithSophie+after+she+escapes+abusive+household

Autumn Page, Staff Reporter

A video went viral of a young girl crying and begging to not go home with her mother on Aug. 30. The young girl, Sophie Long, begs to stay with her dad and doesn’t believe what her mother or her grandmother are telling her. 

The parents recorded her reaction when Long refused to get out of her father’s car after she stayed with him. It’s unclear what happened before the cameras were turned on. 

Trigger warning: There are multiple videos of several incidents, and they are heartbreaking and graphic. They include topics of child molestation/rape and pedophilia. 

The video that blew up on Aug. 30 takes place in Lacy Lakeview, Texas, where Long is pleading to stay with her father. Eventually she tells her mother and grandmother why she doesn’t want to go — she’s afraid of her mother’s boyfriend. 

“He always makes me feel bad about myself, and when I’m sleeping I always feel him touching me, and I don’t want her [my mom] to know so she won’t get mad at me,” Long said. 

After she said this, her mother and grandmother refused to believe her. 

“I can guarantee you that he’s not touching you,” the grandmother said. 

The Frisco Police Department opened an investigation, and the Lacy Lakeview Police Department spoke more openly about what’s going on. The mother and father are in a custody battle over Long, and the mother lives 100 miles north of Lacy Lakeview and the father lives 100 miles south of Lacy Lakeview. 

As a child of divorced parents, I understand this struggle. It’s not the most fun thing — to feel like you’re living out of a bag.

He explains the past incidents involving the family, saying, “In July, 2020, the father reported the sexual abuse of the child to the appropriate law enforcement agency where the offense(s) occurred — these offenses did NOT occur in Lacy Lakeview.”

Police Chief John Truehitt also adds that Children Protective Services (CPS) was present during this exchange. 

Then discusses two incidents that happened in Lacy Lakeview — one on Aug. 18 and another one on Aug. 21. It’s important to note that the officers from the Aug. 18 incident did have body cameras on them. The video shows that upon arrival, the disturbance had already stopped and everything was peaceful, according to Truehitt. 

At the end of the statement, Truehitt adds,“Texas law prohibits law enforcement from identifying juveniles, especially in sexual abuse investigations. Therefore, many potential facts and the officer’s body camera video cannot be released.”

Long’s stepmother created a GoFundMe on Aug. 21. On Sept. 2, it has reached almost $150,000, and included in this GoFundMe has another video that is triggering. 

“The biological mother, according to Sophie, is a part of the sexual abuse and is encouraging it,” the stepmother writes. “She states her life has been threatened by these people and she is afraid, but has a brave heart and wants to help her brothers get away from the abuse too.”

It’s unclear if the grandmother knows about the abuse or the mother’s involvement, what we know is that Long’s mother and her boyfriend are the people that need to be removed from Long’s life. Her father clearly cares about her. 

After a majority of people watched the videos and found out about what was going on, they donated, started #standwithsophie and have been reaching out to the police. 

As for me, I’m writing this in hopes to reach more people and put it on your radar. Watching all the videos had put a very sour feeling in my stomach and I knew I had to try to help.

The court date has been set to begin Nov. 4. Hopefully, Long will finally get the justice she deserves — and a better life.