It was back in 2002 that Elizabeth Smart first became a household name. At the time, she was just 14 years old when she was kidnapped from her room. Though she faced horrendous conditions and was repeatedly sexually abused by her attackers, nine months after she was first taken, she was miraculously found and freed.
Since her kidnapping, she has worked as an advocate and just recently opened up to People about feeling suicidal following the first time she was raped. “For me, because I grew up in a very conservative Christian neighborhood, the first time I was raped I remember feeling devastated,” she said last month. “I felt like it would be better to be dead than to continue living being a rape victim, being a rape survivor. I felt in that moment if there had been an easy way out, I probably would have taken it.”
Elizabeth, now 29, also opened up about the whirlwind that followed her rescue. “One second I was being reunited with my parents, the next second I was being questioned, the next second, they take me up to the hospital that then they’re like, ‘Oh, take off your clothes. Oh, let’s do this kit on you,’ ” she recalled. “Nobody was really telling me anything and I remember when they were doing the rape kit, I just remember thinking, ‘What’s going on?’ ”
These days, there are two TV movies set to be released focused around her famous kidnapping case. Keep scrolling to get all the details on her kidnapping and her life now!