Friends and Strangers Rally to Bring Home Exiled Teen From Siberia
From online petitions to a smear campaign against her stepfather's law firm, an organized effort emerges on behalf of Sofia RobertsSofia Roberts’ case is catching on. Two years have passed since her mother and stepfather exiled her to Siberia at age 15, and now friends and strangers around the country are mobilizing to help bring her home. What initially began as empathetic outreach in the comments section of news articles or posts on Sofia’s Facebook wall is slowly evolving into a more organized effort through petitions, crowdsourcing, a Facebook group called “The Committee To Assist Sofia Roberts” and even an emerging mothers’ group.
Though most of the campaigns are still trying to gain some momentum, her once-hopeless-looking situation is improving. Sofia is using her profile to draw attention to her plight and thank people for their help. She has also established a Twitter feed and Ask.fm page to answer questions about her situation.
In 2011, Sofia was sent to Siberia to live with her biological father as punishment for her teenage antics at home in Virginia. Depressed and emotionally fatigued, she eventually left his home after his drinking habits and subsequent aggression became too much for her to handle. Now 17, she is on her own, and her mother and stepfather refuse to bring her home. In the meantime, she has both lived and worked in a local hostel in Berdsk, though she recently lost her job after an unflattering flurry of Russian press coverage designed to portray her as a spoiled, American brat.
The Facebook group “The Committee to Assist Sofia Roberts” is working to correct the false claims and released the following video: