Elizabeth Smart has the kind of fame no one would want: In the summer of 2002, at the age of 14, she became one of the nation’s most famous kidnap victims when she was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, where she lived with her devout Mormon family. Smart was raped by him nearly every day, sometimes several times a day. The only other person in their camp was Mitchell’s wife, Wanda Barzee, who treated Smart like her slave
She’s now married, finishing work on her degree at Brigham Young University and the head of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.
When she was asked about the best advice her mother gave her, she said:
My mom said to me, “Elizabeth, what this man has done to you, it’s terrible, there aren’t words strong enough to describe how wicked and evil he is. He has stolen nine months of your life from you that you will never get back. But the best punishment you could ever give him is to be happy, is to move forward with your life and to do exactly what you want to do. … The best thing you can do is move forward because by feeling sorry for yourself and holding on to what’s happened, that’s only allowing him more power and more control over your life, and he doesn’t deserve another second. So be happy.” … I’m not perfect at following her advice … but I do try to follow it every day.