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Famous Child-Abduction Victim Speaks Out 16 Years Later

Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted as a child, now considers herself “a very lucky and blessed woman.”

Little Things recalled that the whole country was fascinated in June 2002, when the 14-year-old girl disappeared from a Salt Lake City, Utah, home she shared with her parents and five siblings. Nine-year-old Mary Katherine Smart roused the adults out of their sleep to inform them that a man with a knife had taken her sister away.

Investigators did not solve the mystery until nine months later, when they located the girl and returned her to her family. The police were tipped off by a witness who spotted Elizabeth, whose appearance had been disguised.

Authorities noted that it was extremely unusual for a kidnapping victim to be found alive so long after disappearing.

Since then, Elizabeth has mostly maintained a low profile. The now-30-year-old married woman, who graduated from Brigham Young University and has given birth to two children, does advocate for the rights of children who are abducted or sexually assaulted.

In that role, she has made multiple appearances on the television program “Crime Watch Daily.”

It was not until October 2013 that Elizabeth disclosed some of the details of her terrifying experience. She wrote a book titled “My Story,” and created the Elizabeth Smart Foundation to help parents keep their children from becoming abduction victims and to teach kids about the threat.

“I’d be lying if I said anonymity wasn’t tempting, but I want to continue advocating until change happens,” Elizabeth told the website Reddit. “It would also be nice to be known as a wife, a mother, a friend.”

Recently, she talked more about her personal life during an interview with People. She described her husband, Matthew Gilmour of Scotland, whom she met in 2012 while both of them were working at Mormon Church missions in France.

They had a daughter in 2015 and a son last year.

“My children have brought so much happiness and joy,” Elizabeth told the magazine. “To me, they’re the very definition of love.”

She commented that there are numerous “small things” for which she is “so grateful,” explaining: “I’m grateful for rain, because when I was kidnapped, that meant that I had something to drink. I was grateful for when people would throw out their leftovers at restaurants in those doggy bags, because that meant that sometimes I had something to eat."

"I’m grateful for the sunshine, because it warmed me when I was cold. Certainly, I was grateful for my family and who they were and who my parents were. … I wake up every morning and I feel like a very lucky and blessed woman.”

Elizabeth said in the Reddit interview that she also is “extremely blessed” in not having suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome, although she has flashbacks and “aversions to things.” She has struggled to find a “happy medium” in protecting her daughter.

“There’s a part of me that’s always thinking, ‘Are the windows shut? Where is she at?'"

"'Who is by her? Can I see her?’"

"I don’t want to let Chloe out of my sight,” Elizabeth told People.

“I will never regret being there for my children, watching them, making sure they’ll be OK. But I might regret not being there for them.”

Source: Little Things
Photo: Elizabeth Smart/Instagram, Facebook, YouTube

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