Vanessa Russell, Pastor at New Hope Christian Fellowship, and founder of the non-profit organization Love Never Fails, is speaking out about the heartbreaking story of Sophia Mason and the importance of allowing police to help protect children of sex workers.
Samantha Johnson, the mother of 8-year-old Sophia Mason, was charged with murder and felony child abuse along with boyfriend, Dhante Jackson, after Sophia’s body was found inside a north Merced home earlier this month.
“It’s heartbreaking because I see women like Samantha everyday who are just sort of characterized as ‘oh that’s just you know that’s a prostitute of that’s a sex worker or that somebody who’s in the life,’ and it just kind of either disregarded, overlooked, misunderstood or there are not enough services being brought forward earlier for someone like her who is mentally unwell that was trafficked from the age of 16 on” Russell states in an interview with KTVU FOX 2, “and what ends up happening unfortunately because there isn’t the proper responses they become fully indoctrinated in the life and they become even more mentally ill and then it breaks my heart even further to know that she was parenting a child.”
Russell makes it clear that many systems have failed in Sophia’s case, because “we’ve made it difficult for many Law Enforcement Officers to take a stance because we make it look like ‘oh well law enforcement is taking everyone’s children away’.” We need to create a welcoming environment for police to be able to help.
Let this remind us of the importance of empowering police to help!