Abduction Survivor, Founder of Elizabeth Smart Foundation, Inspiring Communicator of Hope
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Surviving, and now thriving as an advocate, Elizabeth shows us that it is possible not only to overcome extreme adversity and take control of your future, but also to light the way for others.
Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002. Her captors proceeded to control her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, after being held prisoner for nine months, the police safely returned Elizabeth to her family on March 12, 2003. Through this traumatic experience, she has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to conviction. Elizabeth is currently involved in the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, and she has helped promote the national AMBER Alert, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions. Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery has motivated and continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She uses her story to emphasize the importance of everyday people in finding missing children and the belief that there is always hope and we can never stop searching for each and every missing child. Elizabeth’s past and present are a powerful testament to the fact that that it is possible to overcome extreme adversity and take control of your future.
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. At the tender age of 14, just before celebrating her middle school graduation, Elizabeth went to sleep in her family home just as she had always done. Awakened hours later to a knife held roughly against her throat, she was taken from her home and family and held captive for nine long months. In this captivating message, Elizabeth shares her incredible story of perseverance in the face of unimaginable adversity. Her speech not only tells her personal story but also discusses topics such as overcoming extreme adversity, the importance and process of recovery, and not allowing your past to dictate your life’s future. Elizabeth knows that there is nothing more important than having hope in a difficult situation. Having lived through an extreme circumstance as a young teenager, she gives great insight and hope to all.