The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Surviving, and now thriving as an advocate, Elizabeth shows us that it is possible not only to overcome extreme adversity and take control of your future, but also to light the way for others.
Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002. Her captors proceeded to control her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, after being held prisoner for nine months, the police safely returned Elizabeth to her family on March 12, 2003. Through this traumatic experience, she has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to conviction.
Elizabeth is currently involved in the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, and she has helped promote the national AMBER Alert, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions. Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery has motivated and continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She uses her story to emphasize the importance of everyday people in finding missing children and the belief that there is always hope and we can never stop searching for each and every missing child. Elizabeth’s past and present are a powerful testament to the fact that that it is possible to overcome extreme adversity and take control of your future.