10 years after she was raped and kidnapped for nine months, Elizabeth Smart reveals she felt ‘dirty and filthy’ after being captured in Utah. Her story is chilling.
Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped out of her Utah home, raped and held hostage for nine months when she was only 14-years-old in 2002. Now, 10 years later, the 24-year-old survivor is married and speaks out as a victims’ advocate.
During a Law Day Luncheon sponsored by the Palm Beach County Bar Association in Florida May 4, Elizabeth (joined by her husband) revealed what it felt like to go through her trying ordeal.
“I said, ‘If you are just going to rape and murder me, would you please do it here so my family can find my remains?’ because I wanted them to know that I didn’t run away,” she said of being captured. “He turned to me and said, ‘I’m not going to do that to you yet.'”
She continued her story, “I had about a million and one things going through my head, but something inside me said, ‘Elizabeth, if you ever want to escape, you need to listen to what he’s saying.’ I didn’t think there was anything more that could shock me, but the words that I heard next, I couldn’t believe. He said, ‘I hereby seal you to me as my wife before God and his angels as my witnesses.’ My only reaction was to scream out, ‘No.’ He said, ‘If you ever scream out like that, I will kill you.’ … Then he forced me down and raped me.”
Elizabeth said, “I’ll never forget how dirty and filthy, and how I lost all my self-worth in seconds. It would be better if he killed me now, so I don’t have to live with this. … I ended up falling asleep with those thoughts.”
Against all the odds, Elizabeth was found and returned home alive after nine months. She said her mom gave her words of advice that helped her reintegrate into society.
“The morning after I came home, my mother said, ‘This man has taken nine months of your life. Don’t give him another minute. The best punishment for him is for you to be happy and follow your dreams,'” she remembered.
“I’m not going to let it define who I am. People may know me as Elizabeth Smart, the girl who was kidnapped and survived. But once they talk to me, I hope they realize I’m more than that. I have a great life. I’ve got a great family. I’ve got a great husband. I love music. I love horses. I love helping other people realize they don’t have to let their life be ruined by what’s happened to them.”
To educate and help prevent crimes against kids, Elizabeth started The Elizabeth Smart Foundation. We applaud her for using her story to help others.
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