Elizabeth Smart on 20th Anniversary of Her Kidnapping Rescue: 'It's Definitely a Good Day'
Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of Elizabeth Smart's rescue from kidnappers who abducted and kept her for ninth months in 2002.
Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of Elizabeth Smart's rescue from brutal kidnappers who held her captive for nine months, during which she was beaten, chained, denied food and repeatedly raped.
Smart was only 14 when a man climbed through her bedroom window and abducted her at knifepoint while her 9-year-old sister pretended to be asleep in the room they shared in suburban Utah.
Now Smart is married, the mother of three and a vocal champion of the missing and abused. There will be no room for bitterness or grief on Sunday, she said.
"March 12th is a happy day. It's the day I was rescued. It's a happy day," she told Inside Edition.
Her kidnappers dragged her through Utah, California's San Diego County and back again before she was rescued after two people recognized her and phoned police. Her abductors were arrested and tried.
She has written about her life, and has become a commentator and child safety advocate. Her newest effort is "Wholehearted Consent," a teaching course for teenagers on how to set boundaries and how to say no.
"It's figuring out what you're okay with, and when someone crosses those boundaries, how you respond," Smart said.
The program contains six modules and 38 short videos that encourages teens to decide what they feel comfortable doing and doesn't label what they are willing to do as good or bad.
On the anniversary of her rescue, Smart said she plans to call her parents.
The young woman is often recognized now when she is in public, after her many public appearances and interviews.
Sometimes all the attention is a little too much, she said. In a recent encounter, someone screamed her named as she was shopping for underwear. The person came running over, wanting help from Smart about resolving an issue, she said.
After that, Smart dyed her blonde hair a light shade of red.
"I just thought, maybe I should try something else for a minute," she said.
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