Kidnap survivor Elizabeth Smart shares her story with metro Detr - KMSP-TV

Kidnap survivor Elizabeth Smart shares her story with metro Detroit

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Elizabeth Smart, keynote speaker at Wednesday's Women of Vision benefit Elizabeth Smart, keynote speaker at Wednesday's Women of Vision benefit
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

"I know just how bad it is to be raped and how bad it is to be hungry and abused, and to feel abandoned and left alone. I know how terrible it is to feel that way."

Elizabeth Smart is 25 years old, an activist and now an author sharing her story of tragedy, triumph and inspiration.

"I want to share a part of my story because what I experienced is not so different from what so many other women and children experience," Smart says Wednesday during her keynote speech  at the Women of Vision benefit. The benefit was in Southfield and was hosted by the National Council of Jewish Women.

"No child, no person, no human being ever deserves to feel that way. So if there's something I can do to prevent that from happening to other children, other women, other people - then that's what I want to do."

Smart was kidnapped at knife point in 2002 from her Salt Lake City bedroom at the age of 14. Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee are now in prison after holding her captive for nine months. Smart was raped, assaulted and abused.

Smart describes her rescue: "Three different people made a phone call on March 12 - I think it was within five minutes of each other that led to my rescue. I mean, it was just good people seeing something wrong and making that phone call."

Smart says she tells her story hoping it inspires and empowers others. She cited statistics saying one in four girls, and one in six boys, are sexually assaulted before the age of 18. She says that over 80 percent of children who fight back can get away.

"We all need to hear a story with a happy ending. We hear so many bad things everyday. I mean, my story does have a happy ending and there are so many more happy endings out there."

Smart hopes for many more happy endings and is educating children on how to escape a dangerous situation through the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.

LINK: Learn more about the Elizabeth Smart Foundation

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