The Stand With Sophie movement has continued to gain momentum in the past week since first going viral at the end of August. Now supporters are calling for President Donald Trump to support the movement.
What began as a standard GoFundMe campaign to raise legal fees for a custody dispute involving 9-year-old Sophie Long of Frisco, Texas, quickly gained national attention due to a nearly 20-minute video in which Sophie alleged that she was being abused at her mother’s home.
Now, Michael Long, Sophie’s father, is reaching out to the leader of the country for support and to raise awareness of his case. On September 9, Long posted on his Twitter account, which has the user handle @standwithsophie, “Dear @realDonaldTrump, As a Father to a Daughter, I’m sure you can appreciate my dilemma. I need your help Sir. Will you help me #standwithsophie? #savethechildren.”
— Michael Long (@standwithsophie) September 9, 2020
Many supporters retweeted and responded to Michael’s call for support, with one user saying, “I filed a complaint last Friday on his website. Told him the world was watching and judging the country by how this is handled.” Another added, “Mr. President. Please take a moment to help this father and his children.” One user said, “@realDonaldTrump please help this man and his baby girl. Enough is enough, this poor child has endured abuse no human should have to face.. especially a child! Please help her!! #standwithsophie.”
In addition to the social media call to the president for support, there is also a White House petition circulating requesting that the federal government intervene in the case. At the time of writing, the petition had over 87,000 signatures out of the 100,000 needed for a response.
During a September 9 hearing on the case, the judge ruled that Sophie and her two brothers would be placed in Michael Long’s care, his attorney informed Heavy. Jamie L. Graham of Jamie Graham & Associates said that she is thrilled at the decision and that the judge, who is a new judge for the case, decided to “err on the side of caution” in ruling that the children would be placed with Long during the custody battle.
Graham told Heavy that an investigation is still open and ongoing with the Frisco Police Department and Child Protective Services has not yet come to a decision.
The Call for Assistance From the White House & President Comes Amid a Social Media Campaign to Raise Awareness About the Case
Since the GoFundMe campaign first went viral, the Stand With Sophie movement has grown on social media, led mostly by Long and his wife, Sophie’s stepmother, Kourtney Chalmers. There is an Instagram account dedicated to sharing updates about the case and a Twitter account run by her father.
Additionally, Long created a Facebook group to raise awareness about the custody case and share updates with Sophie’s supporters. The group had over 245,000 members at the time of writing but appears to have been subsequently deleted or removed.
According to the Daily Mail, Sophie’s biological parents are Long, 41, who lives in Seguin, Texas, and Kelly, 34, of Frisco, Texas. The outlet reported that the custody battle has been ongoing since 2015 when the couple divorced. It added that the custody was initially divided between both parents but things eventually soured and “a judge awarded custody to mom Kelly who eventually took the children to live more than 200 miles away from their father.”
Long is the founder of Right Rocks, an online provider of stones and crystals, which he runs with Chalmers. His Facebook’s About Me indicates he is originally from Oregon and studied liberal arts at Marymount California University and culture and politics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., before eventually settling in Seguin, Texas.
The Stand With Sophie Campaign Quickly Went Viral & Raised Nearly $200,000 Dollars; the Frisco Police Department Issued a Statement in Late August About the Case
Stand With Sophie quickly became a viral movement thanks to the GoFundMe campaign and video that were shared all over social media. The GoFundMe campaign’s original goal of $25,000 was quickly passed, and nearly $200,000 has been raised to support Sophie’s father and stepmother in their custody battle for Sophie and her two brothers.
According to the fundraiser’s page, “Any contributions will go towards the cost of an incredible team that will fight for Sophie, the boys, and for us. We have two law firms who plan to fight hard to free the children from this fate and we plan to also use this to get them counseling and create a safe place for them to grow up and just be kids again.”
At the time the campaign first went viral, the Frisco, Texas, police department confirmed it had an active case under investigation by the criminal investigations division. In a subsequent update, the police department said it was being flooded by calls and emails about Sophie’s case and urged the public to stop sharing false information and speculation.
UPDATE: Information Alert pic.twitter.com/By1Rik6f2T
— Frisco Police (@FriscoPD) August 31, 2020
The update reads in part:
The continued dissemination of patently false information and third-party speculation on various social media platforms related to this case serves no other purpose than to hinder investigative efforts and does nothing to help the child in the case. The case remains under active investigation, and we are restricted by law on providing specific information related to juvenile cases.