For many people who feel like 2003 wasn’t that long ago, the name “Elizabeth Smart” will conjure stories of kidnapping and horrific abuse in one’s head. But for future generations, the name will become synonymous with resilience, hope, and children’s advocacy.
The 30-year-old first made headlines when she was horrifically kidnapped from her childhood bedroom at the age of 14. She was held captive and routinely abused for nine months before she was rescued and reunited with her family. Today, she’s using her story to not only empower children and victims, but also educate parents and children alike to make sure no one else falls victim to the horror that she lived through as a child. During a recent “Ask Me Anything” on reddit, the mother-of-two was asked what are “practical, common-sense steps” that every parent can take to protect their children from abuse — whether it’s bullying, or abduction — and what she shared was three tips that every parent ought to follow. Check out the video to see what they are!
Elizabeth Smart is retelling her story as part of cross-network event honoring the 15-year anniversary of her abduction and recovery. First, A&E will debut a two-part docu-series called Elizabeth Smart: Autobiography on Nov. 12 and 13; then, on Lifetime, her story will be told with an original movie called I Am Elizabeth Smart, premiering Nov. 18. The intimate special will allow Elizabeth to share the horrific details of her abduction in her own words, as well as share information about her abduction that she has never made public before. While using her platform and embracing her title as a survivor hasn’t been easy for Elizabeth, she shared her advice with other victims.
“The hardest thing about speaking out and becoming an advocate was the fear of having everyone know what happened to me,” she explained on reddit. “The one thing I would tell a survivor about speaking out is no matter what people’s reactions are, you deserve happiness, you deserve love, you deserve support, and you deserve to know you are worthwhile.”