My Story (Smart)

Author Bio
Birth—November 3, 1987
Where—Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Education—Brigham Young University (currently enrolled)
Currently—living in Park City, Utah

Elizabeth Ann Smart-Gilmour is an American activist and contributor for ABC News. She first gained widespread attention at the age of 14 when she was kidnapped from her home and rescued nine months later.

Smart was abducted from her bedroom in her family's Salt Lake City home on June 5, 2002 at the age of 14. She was found nine months later on March 12, 2003, in Sandy, Utah, 18 miles from her home, in the company of Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee. Her abduction and rescue were widely reported and were the subject of a made-for-TV movie and non-fiction book.

On October 1, 2009, Smart testified to being threatened, tied, and raped daily while she was held captive.

On November 16, 2009, Barzee announced she would plead guilty to assisting in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, as part of an agreement with prosecutors. On May 19, 2010, Barzee was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. As part of a plea deal between the defense and federal prosecutors, federal Judge Dale A. Kimball gave Barzee credit for seven years that she already has served.

On March 1, 2010, Mitchell was found competent to stand trial for the kidnapping and sexual assault charges in federal court by judge Kimball; his trial began on November 8, 2010, and on December 10, 2010, the jury found Mitchell guilty on both counts. On May 25, 2011, Mitchell was sentenced to two life-terms in federal prison.

Activism and journalism
On March 8, 2006, Smart went to Congress to support sexual predator legislation and the AMBER Alert system, and on July 26, 2006, she spoke after the signing of the Adam Walsh Act. In May 2008, she traveled to Washington, D.C., where she helped present a book, You're Not Alone, published by the U.S. Department of Justice, which has entries written by her as well as four other recovered young adults.

In 2009, Smart commented on the kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard, stressing that dwelling upon the past is unproductive. On October 27, 2009 Elizabeth spoke at the 2009 Women's Conference in California hosted by Maria Shriver, on overcoming obstacles in life.

In 2011, Smart founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which aims to support the Internet Crimes Against Children task force and to educate children about violent and sexual crime.

On July 7, 2011 it was announced that she would be a commentator for ABC News, mainly focusing on missing persons.

On May 1, 2013 in a speech at a human trafficking conference at Johns Hopkins University Smart discussed the need to emphasize individual self-worth in fighting human trafficking.

I thought,"Oh, my gosh, I’m that chewed up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away." And that’s how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value. Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.

Smart went on to ask that listeners teach children how to gain self-worth and avoid becoming a victim.

Personal life
Elizabeth Ann Smart was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Edward and Lois Smart. She has four brothers and a sister and is the second-oldest child in her family. Smart attended Brigham Young University (BYU), studying music as a harp performance major.

On November 11, 2009, Smart left to serve a Mormon mission in Paris. Smart returned temporarily from her mission in November 2010 to serve as the chief witness in the federal trial of Brian David Mitchell. After the end of the trial she returned to France to finish her mission, coming home to Utah in the spring of 2011.

In January 2012, Smart became engaged to Matthew Gilmour, a native of Scotand, after a courtship of one year. The couple met while serving as missionaries in the France Paris Mission. They married on February 18, 2012, in a private ceremony in the Laie Hawaii Temple.

Elizabeth published a memoir of her experience. Co-authored with Chris Stewart, the book details both Smart's kidnapping and the formation of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which works to promote awareness about abduction. (From Wikipedia. Retrieved 10/09/2013.)

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