On June 5, 2002, fourteen-year old Elizabeth Smart, the daughter of a close-knit Mormon family, was taken from her home in the middle of the night by religious fanatic, Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped, and told that she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
In the years after her rescue, Elizabeth Smart has transformed from victim to advocate, traveling the country and working to educate, inspire, and foster change. She has created the Elizabeth Smart Foundation in 2001, to help prevent crimes against children and is a frequent public speaker for universities and conferences like Crimes Against Children and the Children’s Mental Health Conference.
Elizabeth Smart with Chris Stewart
St. Martin's Press
Now for the first time, in her memoir, MY STORY, she tells of the constant fear she endured every hour, her courageous determination to maintain hope, and how she devised a plan to manipulate her captors and convinced them to return to Utah, where she was rescued minutes after arriving. Smart explains how her faith helped her stay sane in the midst of a nightmare and how she found the strength to confront her captors at their trial and see that justice was served.
Crimes Against Children: The Real Numbers:
Elizabeth Smart speaks about the real impact of crimes upon children. She uses statistics about child pornography, child sexual assault and rape, and child neglect to show the importance of funding law enforcement offices.
Teaching Children to Protect Themselves
Elizabeth Smart speaks about the importance of self defense classes and radKIDS, a program based on teaching kids to react instinctively and get away from captors.
It is Not My Fault
Elizabeth speaks about forgiving herself and realizing that her nine month abduction was not her fault.
- Jennifer Pyron, Arkansas Children's Hospital Foundation