Elizabeth Smart

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For the Canadian poet and novelist, see Elizabeth Smart (Canadian author).
Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Speaks About Overcoming Trauma.jpg
Smart in 2012
Born Elizabeth Ann Smart
(1987-11-03) November 3, 1987 (age 26)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Alma mater Brigham Young University (B.M.)
Spouse(s) Matthew Gilmour (m. 2012)
Website
elizabethsmartfoundation.org

Elizabeth Ann Smart-Gilmour[1] (born November 3, 1987) is an American activist and contributor for ABC News. She first gained widespread attention at the age of 14 when she was kidnapped from her home and rescued nine months later.

Abduction and rescue[edit]

Smart was abducted from her bedroom in her family's Salt Lake City home on June 5, 2002 at the age of 14. She was found nine months later on March 12, 2003, in Sandy, Utah, 18 miles from her home, in the company of Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee. Her abduction and rescue were widely reported and were the subject of a made-for-TV movie, titled The Elizabeth Smart Story, and non-fiction book.

On October 1, 2009, Smart testified to being raped three to four times daily, tied up and threatened with death if she attempted escape.[2]

On November 16, 2009, Barzee announced she would plead guilty to assisting in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, as part of an agreement with prosecutors.[3] On May 19, 2010, Barzee was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. As part of a plea deal between the defense and federal prosecutors, federal Judge Dale A. Kimball gave Barzee credit for seven years that she already has served, the U.S. attorney in Utah said.

On March 1, 2010, Mitchell was found competent to stand trial for the kidnapping and sexual assault charges in federal court by Judge Kimball; his trial began on November 8, 2010, and on December 10, 2010, the jury found Mitchell guilty on both counts. On May 25, 2011, Mitchell was sentenced to two life-terms in federal prison.[4]

Activism and journalism[edit]

Smart (center) and her mother with George W. Bush at the signing of the PROTECT Act of 2003

On March 8, 2006, Smart went to Congress to support sexual predator legislation and the AMBER Alert system, and on July 26, 2006, she spoke after the signing of the Adam Walsh Act. In May 2008, she traveled to Washington, D.C., where she helped present a book, You're Not Alone, published by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has entries written by her as well as four other recovered young adults.[5][6][7] In 2009, Smart commented on the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard, stressing that dwelling upon the past is unproductive.[8] On October 27, 2009 Elizabeth spoke at the 2009 Women's Conference in California hosted by Maria Shriver, on overcoming obstacles in life.[9]

In 2011, Smart founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation,[10] which aims to support the Internet Crimes Against Children task force and to educate children about violent and sexual crime.

On July 7, 2011 it was announced that she would be a commentator for ABC News, mainly focusing on missing persons.[11][12]

On May 1, 2013 in a speech at a human trafficking conference at Johns Hopkins University Smart discussed the need to emphasize individual self-worth in fighting human trafficking. "I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value,” Smart said. “Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.” Smart went on to ask that listeners educate children on having self-worth, and how to avoid becoming a victim.[13][14]

In February 2014 Smart testified before the Utah State House of Representatives in favor of HB 286, a bill that would create a non-mandated curriculum for use in Utah schools to provide training on child sexual abuse prevention.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Elizabeth Ann Smart was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Edward (Ed) and Lois Smart. She has four brothers and a sister and is the second-oldest child in her family. Smart attended Brigham Young University (BYU), studying music as a harp performance major. On November 11, 2009, Smart left to serve a Mormon mission in Paris.[16][17] Smart returned temporarily from her mission in November 2010 to serve as the chief witness in the federal trial of Brian David Mitchell. After the end of the trial she returned to France to finish her mission, coming home to Utah in the spring of 2011.[18]

In March 2011, Smart was one of four women awarded the Diane von Furstenberg Award.[19]

In January 2012, Smart became engaged to Matthew Gilmour, a native of Scotland, after a courtship of one year. The couple met while serving as missionaries in the France Paris Mission and had planned to marry in the summer of 2012 but moved up the date due to media privacy concerns.[20][21][22] They married on February 18, 2012, in a private ceremony in the Laie Hawaii Temple.[23][24]

Media[edit]

In October 2013 My Story, a 308-page-memoir of Elizabeth Smart's experience written with Chris Stewart was published by St. Martin's Press.[25] The book details both Smart's kidnapping and the formation of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation which tries to promote awareness about abduction.[26][27]

A book about the hunt for Elizabeth, In Plain Sight: The Startling Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation,[28] was written by her uncle, Tom Smart and author Lee Benson.

Another book about Elizabeth's kidnapping was written by her father, called Bringing Elizabeth Home.[29]

A television movie, The Elizabeth Smart Story, was made based on Elizabeth's father's book in 2003.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Elizabeth Smart Marries At LDS Temple In Hawaii, KUTV, February 20, 2012, "Elizabeth Smart is now Elizabeth Gilmour." 
  2. ^ "Elizabeth Smart says she was raped daily". The Daily Herald. 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  3. ^ "Barzee expected to enter guilty plea in Smart case". The Daily Herald. 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  4. ^ "Elizabeth Smart Tells Kidnapper She'll Live a Good Life Moments Before He Gets a Life Sentence". FoxNews.com. May 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-26. 
  5. ^ Child Abduction: Resources for Victims and Families from Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
  6. ^ "Elizabeth Smart hopes to aid victims". CNN. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  7. ^ Reavy, Pat (2008-05-20). "Elizabeth Smart: Ready for college and moving on after kidnapping". Deseret News. Retrieved 2008-05-20. 
  8. ^ Elizabeth Smart's Advice to Jaycee Dugard: Move Forward in Life 2009-08-28
  9. ^ "The Womens Conference hosted by California's First Lady". Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  10. ^ "Elizabeth Smart Fast Facts". CNN. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  11. ^ Dobner, Jennifer, "Elizabeth Smart to work as ABC commentator", AP.org, July 7, 2011
  12. ^ Lois M. Collins. "Elizabeth Smart to join ABC for missing-persons insight" in Deseret News July 7, 2011
  13. ^ "Video: Elizabeth Smart speaks at Johns Hopkins University". Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jay Evenson, ''Deseret News'' article analysising what Smart said". Perspectivesonthenews.blogs.deseretnews.com. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  15. ^ Brown, Madeleine (February 19, 2014), Elizabeth Smart backs bill on child sexual abuse prevention training in schools, Deseret News 
  16. ^ Reavy, Pat (September 17, 2009). "Elizabeth Smart could testify before leaving for LDS mission". Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  17. ^ McEntee, Peg (November 19, 2009). "For Dorotha Smart, it is time to move on". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2009-12-09. 
  18. ^ Pat Reavy (2011-05-19). "''Deseret News'', May 18, 2011". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  19. ^ Moss, Hilary (March 12, 2011). "Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Smart Honored By Diane Von Furstenberg". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-03-14. 
  20. ^ "Former Utah kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart gets engaged". MSNBC. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  21. ^ "Elizabeth Smart Gets Married". People. 18 February 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2012. 
  22. ^ "Elizabeth Smart marries boyfriend in private, spur of the moment Hawaiian ceremony". NewsCore. February 19, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-19. 
  23. ^ Lee, Jasen (18 February 2012). "Elizabeth Smart marries in Hawaiian Mormon temple". Deseret News. Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  24. ^ Nelson, James (19 February 2012). "Former kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart marries in Hawaii". Reuters. Retrieved 19 February 2012. 
  25. ^ New York Times Nov. 20, 2012
  26. ^ The Associated Press (2012-11-23). ""Congressman-elect writing Elizabeth Smart's memoir" in ''Deseret News'' Nov. 23, 2012". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  27. ^ Foy, Paul (2013-05-07). ""Elizabeth Smart details experience in Memoir", ''Deseret News'', October 7, 2013". Deseretnews.com. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  28. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Plain-Sight-Startling-Elizabeth-Investigation/dp/1556526210/ref=pd_sim_b_22?ie=UTF8&refRID=0QBAC2ESRA0ZRV331WS9
  29. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Bringing-Elizabeth-Home-Journey-Faith/dp/0385512147/ref=pd_sim_b_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=16NK5SVVNKWRGA7XDZ8C

References[edit]

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