Monday, April 23, 2012

Elizabeth Smart Speaks at the University Of Oklahoma

            The University of Oklahoma Speaker’s Bureau hosted Elizabeth Smart on Thursday, April 19th.
Smart was abducted at the age of 14 from her parent’s home in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her story gained national attention and she was found nine months later just 18 miles away from her home. Before her abduction, she planned to go to Brigham Young University to study the harp and move to New York City.
            “It's very refreshing to be around people who are much closer to my age,” said the 24-year-old. Smart is a correspondent for ABC news and travels the country speaking about her foundation, Elizabeth Smart Foundation. Smart told the story of her abduction to students at Meacham Auditorium, which was completely full.
            “I remember ten years ago being kidnapped, and it being the worst experience of my life,” Smart said. Brian David Mitchell took her from her bedroom, with her sister sleeping next to her in the same bed.
            After nine months, a police officer took her from her kidnappers and took her to the police station. “Very few people can say that one of the happiest days of their lives included being in the basement of a police station,” said Smart.
            Smart has spent the last ten years telling her story and helping other abducted and sexually abused kids seek treatment. She said therapy and her family’s support helped her heal from her experience.
            The day after she came home, her mother promised Elizabeth she would help her move on. 

“She said to me, Elizabeth what this man has done to you is terrible. He has taken nine months of your life away from you, and don’t let him take another minute,” Smart said. “And I haven’t, I won’t ever give him another second.”

                               PHOTO: Kate Brandon

Elizabeth Smart
 Sound clip

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