Elizabeth Smart Opens Up About 9-Month Kidnapping

Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart, the young woman who was abducted from her home as a teenager nearly two decades ago, has spoken out about feeling too "embarrassed and ashamed" to tell her parents the vulgar details of her kidnapping, according to her recent social media post. 

“The truth is I never sat them all down and had a ‘tell-all’ experience with them,” she wrote on Instagram.

Smart, now 33, was held captive for nine months between 2002 and 2003. She was held captive in the woods where she was repeatedly abused, drugged and threatened with death if she tried to escape, Inside Edition Digital previously reported.

In another post on Monday, Smart wrote: "In my mind what had happened was something that I hated and never wanted to acknowledge so I just avoided thinking/talking about it.

"But I remember one day my dad came to me and started discussing the charges Brian Mitchell was going to be charged with, and I felt anger, because of all the charges he was faced with none of them included the worst things he did to me," she continued. 

"It was ultimately at that moment that I stopped caring and worrying about the shame and embarrassment that I felt."

Smart was taken from her bedroom at her home in Salt Lake City at the age of 14. Brian Mitchell, the now-convicted kidnapped and abuser, forced her to the ground at knifepoint and then held her captive for those grueling months. 

His wife Wanda Barzee was also sentenced in the abduction. She reportedly denied Smart food and water for days on end and treated her as a "slave," according to the New York Post. Barzee was sentenced to 15 years in prison but a parole board set her free in 2018, Inside Edition Digital previously reported.

Mitchell is serving two consecutive life sentences in federal prison.

Smart says that since recovering from the trauma, she has become an advocate for victims of rape and sexual abuse.

"This more than anything made me want to do more, change the culture, speak, and share my story if it helped others," she wrote.

The Elizabeth Smart Foundation has started a campaign titled, #webelieveyou to shed light on and change the treatment of victims and survivors.


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