Consider just a sampling of these statistics. 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18.
1 child goes missing every minute of the day and every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
When placed against the harrowing COVID-19 infections rates and death tolls, these numbers, taken from the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, speak to a hidden danger lurking in the background.
If numbers can lie, then Elizabeth Smart’s story will paint a picture so vivid, you won’t feel the same way about child abduction ever again.
Imagine a defenseless twelve-year-old girl waking up in the middle of the night to a cold knife pressed against her throat. 18 years ago in Salt Lake City, Utah, that girl was Elizabeth Smart.
Kidnapped and forced against her will, Smart was drugged, abused and serially raped by her captors for nine months before she was eventually spotted and saved by vigilant members of the public.
In a term it takes to bring a life into this world, Smart nearly had her own life snuffed out at the hands of ruthlessness and terror.
As one of the most famous child abduction cases in the United States, Smart recounts her terrifying ordeal on Quite Franklin.
Not just a face on a milk carton, Smart had her likeness emblazoned on flyers, posters and giant billboards across the country. It’s a haunting fame you’d wish upon no one.
My conversations with Smart center around her incredible resilience and her will to outlive her kidnappers no matter the cost.
Together, we profile her sociopathic kidnappers – Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee – who under the guise of religion, enslaved Smart into their twisted fantasies.
Smart maneuvers around our discussion with frankness and a poise so illuminating, it sheds light on what many would consider a dark and taboo subject.
Also, Smart reveals the personal growth and lessons from her experience, including those she now imparts to her children as a loving mother of three.
Years after she was unshackled from the steel cable that wrapped so tightly around her ankle, Smart has shed all signs of victimhood.
While she is no longer chained to her past, she isn’t running from it either.
Freed from the customary emotional reticence that cling to sexual assault victims, Smart now takes it upon herself to champion the rights of others as an activist.
Clearly. there is no better candidate than Elizabeth Smart to drive conversation and lobby for legislation in the highest places of State and Capitol Hill.
Life can change abruptly in so many ways. As it did for Smart in her bedroom one night, turning her sanctuary into a crime scene and nightmare.
How do we respond when life takes us hostage? Can we harness from within the power of faith and the unconditional love from family to weather a crisis?
If there’s one thing Smart has shown: Unfortunate happenings don’t define who we are, but it is the choices we make in the aftermath that do.