Father Wins Full Custody of his Daughter Who Sparked #StandWithSophie | 22 Words

There has been a huge development in the highly publicized #StandWithSophie campaign...

Sophie is finally safe.

The 9-year-old, from Texas, has been embroiled in a vicious court case after it was alleged that her mother's fiancé had sexually abused her.

It all started with a video.

In the footage, Sophie was seen being literally dragged away from her father as she accused her mother's fiancé of abusing her. She was dragged out of her father's car by her grandmother during a custody exchange.

It was a harrowing watch.

On the situation, her father, Michael Long, told the Daily Mail:

"What happened was I unlocked the car, her grandma showed up and it looked like an abduction in the back of my car. Thank God I was filming."

He recalled feeling helpless.

"But this is the most helpless feeling I've ever felt in my life - my daughter was screaming for her life while I was holding a video camera and that's all I could do."

But his suspicions had actually been rife for quite some time.

Sophie's father and his wife, Kourtney Chalmers, grew concerned about the little girl's welfare at the start of June when she arrived at their place for her summer vacation.

Sophie had reportedly complained about experiencing "shooting pains"...

Which would often leave her doubled over in agony.

The doctor merely diagnosed her with a yeast infection...

But prior to the visit, she had told Kourtney she was worried that the doctors might take photos of her. Eventually, she told her stepmom what had been happening to her at the hands of, who she referred to as Mr. Jake and some of his friends.

It was an utterly horrendous situation.

And, to make things even worse, both her mother and her grandmother refused to acknowledge or take any action regarding the alarming allegations.

Medics and forensic interviewers both believed that the abuse had been going on for quite some time...

With Kourtney explaining that a change in Sophie was noticed back in 2017.

On the notable differences in the little girl, Kourtney said:

"Sophie has always been full of magic, bubbly, and just really carefree. There is a big difference now. She used to feel good about herself all the time and now she feels not beautiful and that's really hard to see."

She explained how Sophie's confidence has been shattered.

"In private, she talks so badly about herself now because she's a beautiful young lady and they've made her feel ugly. I don't know if it's all the things they say to her or things that have been done to her that have made it hard for her to feel comfortable in her own skin. But a lot of that sparkle, the carefree innocence… You can see it fade from her eyes."

So, in August, when the video of Sophie went viral...

The movement, #StandWithSophie was born.

The hashtag quickly gained traction...

And people from all over the country came together to campaign for the arrest of Sophie's mom, Kelly Long, and her fiance and, more importantly, Sophie's safety.

However, Kelly was awarded full custody of Sophie and her 2 brothers.

This was because she had hired a lawyer while Michael did not, leading to him being granted only intermittent episodes of supervised access to the children.

Ever since, Michael and Kourtney have been fighting for the custody of Sophie and her brothers...

But both say they have faced legal obstacles every step of the way, and also claim Child Protective Services has failed to act on her claims.

So, left with no other choice, it was then that Michael decided to share the now-viral video of his daughter.

On his decision, he explained: "The legal system failed us miserably. I knew the only way to protect Sophie was to record everything. I realized we were completely broke, we'd spent everything we had, so you know what, if no one else is going to speak for Sophie, I'll let her speak for herself. So I released it and we'll let the world decide."

But, miraculously, it worked.

On Wednesday, a judge awarded Michael full custody of Sophie and her brothers.

This is a remarkable victory.

Michael will have the 3 children in his care as they await trial in November, where the lengthy 5-year custody battle between Michael and Kelly will finally be resolved.

His lawyer Jamie L. Graham told Heavy that they are thrilled at the decision...

And said that the judge decided to "err on the side of caution" in awarding Michael custody.

As of yet, no action has been taken against Sophie's abusers.

Michael said:

"They completely took her innocence away. But they didn't take her power away and they didn't take her will. In terms of how I feel towards them, I hope they pay for what they've done. I don't believe in violence, I don't believe in death threats but justice needs to be served."