Many people know Elizabeth Smart for her heartbreaking kidnapping. Despite this, her story is filled with inspiration and hope. If you haven’t heard her full story, keep on reading...
In 2002, at the age of 14, Elizabeth was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City. For the following nine months, she was abused and threatened with death until she was finally rescued on March 12th, 2003. In April of the same year, Elizabeth and her family travelled to the White House to meet with President George W. Bush, who signed a child protection bill which encouraged US states to establish Amber Alert systems to quickly post information about child abductions.
After eight years of legal proceedings, in 2011 both of her kidnappers were finally sentenced to prison. Although her heartbreaking story was widely covered in the media, she is most well-known for her activism and courage.
In 2011, Elizabeth established the Elizabeth Smart Foundation to support the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and to educate children about violent and sexual crimes. She was also awarded the Diane von Furstenberg Award for leadership, strength and courage in her commitment to her cause and began working with ABC News as a contributor to comment on missing persons cases.
It is safe to say, Elizabeth hasn’t let her trauma hold her back. To this day, she continues to inspire women and advocate for child safety with Matthew, her loving hubby, and three beautiful children supporting her.
As of 2020, Elizabeth has launched a self-defense initiative called Smart Defense. The program was designed by law enforcement and mixed martial arts experts with the aim of empowering women and girls with confidence, and self-defense skills to prevent and fight back against sexual assault.
We couldn’t be happier for Elizabeth and all she has achieved, it inspires us to be resilient and hopeful, even when life throws us with the worst it’s got. This is just a snippet of her incredible story, if you’re interested in reading further, Elizabeth has published two beautifully written books which we highly recommend checking out!