Elizabeth Smart uses her own abduction as a child to be an advocate for change in abduction and recovery programs, along with improved national legislation.
Founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, she helps promote the National Amber Alert system, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other key legislation.
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003, after being held prisoner for 9 grueling months.
Elizabeth chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, “My Story.” In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivor’s guide, entitled, “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.
Elizabeth’s story motivates parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes vigilance by everyday people and the belief that hope always exists to find every missing child.
Elizabeth’s example is a daily demonstration that there really is life after a tragic event. Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She married her husband Matthew in 2012.