It is hard to believe that one out of four girls and one out of six boys are raped or sexually abused before they reach the age of 18. But it is the sad reality. And to drive the point home, we have brought you the story of a girl who was kidnapped from her bed at a knife point and was used as a sex slave for nine long months. But despite all the odds, the brave girl survived to share her story. The struggles she had to endure during the nine months of captivity are now all packed into a memoir called “My Story”. This is the horrifying yet encouraging story of 27 year old Elizabeth Smart, who at the tender age of 14 became a victim of abduction and sexual abuse.
Elizabeth Smart was a regular teenager just learning to live her life. She was beautiful and smart just like her name. But, in 2002, at the age of 14, she was kidnapped by a fanatic couple Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee from her family’s Salt Lake City’s home. She was finally found on March 12, 2003. On October 1, 2009, she testified to being raped three to four times daily, tied up and threatened with death if she attempted to escape.
The social activist and ABC News contributor finally opened up about her ordeal in her memoir published in 2013. After almost a decade after the nightmarish kidnapping ended, Smart openly shared her painful experience with intimate details of her story. She has given 100 percent full account of the torment that she was subjected to in their hands.
Smart who is married to Matthew Gilmour gave birth to their beautiful daughter earlier this year might have outgrown her horrible past and moved on to life. But the social advocate wants every one of us to read her story and realize that it is not just her who has suffered the sexual abuse. There are thousands of kids under 18 who are becoming the victims of sex hungry monsters.
Smart speaking to CNN's Anderson Cooper after her memoir was published in 2013 and said that “My Story” has not a sugarcoated version of her story but rather 100 percent true account of what really happened to her.
"I didn't just want to go 10% and sugarcoat the rest," Smart told Cooper. "I wanted it to be really what happened and what it was like every single day I was there, because I don't think I'm doing anyone any favors by sugarcoating it."
Though the book was written two years ago, the story within it still feels fresh to everyone who reads it. Through her story, the writer has tried to touch the lives of all those young girls and boys who have been sexually exploited.
"I want to reach out to those survivors and those victims," Smart said. "I want them to know that these things do happen, but that doesn't mean that we have to be defined by it for the rest of your life. You can move forward and you can be happy."
Smart knows what it feels like to be victimized and traumatized by the heartless abusers who want to suck out every hope and dreams from the people who they prey on.
Her story has become a great motivation for countless young children and their parents as well. Her abduction and rescue had been widely reported and publicized and has been turned in to a made-for-TV movie ‘The Elizabeth Smart Story’ as well as into various non-fiction books.
Elizabeth Smart has no official Twitter and Instagram account as she likes to stay away from social networking sites.