Elizabeth Smart will confront her captor in court on Wednesday, nine years after he kidnapped her from her bedroom at knife-point.
Now an advocate for kidnapped children and other victims of crime, 23 year-old Smart testified during Brian David Mitchell’s trial and helped prosecutors garner a conviction. Elizabeth was strong and steady as she recalled her “nine months of hell” and did not address Mitchell personally because he was constantly singing through proceedings and being ejected from the courtroom.
Since her horrific ordeal she has done missionary work and has also started the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. One of her immediate goals to advocate for the RADkids program to be taught in public schools. “Resist Aggression Defensively,” shows how to get away from an attack. According to their website, in the United States alone:
-Over 114,000 abductions were attempted on children in 1988.
-More than one third of all the sexual assaults reported to law enforcement agencies each year involve children under 12 years old.
-It is estimated that 15 children out of every 1,000 children suffered from child abuse or neglect in 1997. This translates into an astounding 1,054,000! Of that group, three children die each day from abuse.
As to her motivation to speak at the sentencing, she told a CBS affiliate, “I hope it gives others hope that they can speak out and not be scared to face their captor.” Elizabeth told reporters last week that she wasnt sure what she would say to Mitchell during sentencing proceedings.
Ed smart is also expected to speak at the hearing. Mitchell was found guilty of federal kidnapping and unlawful transportation charges and could recieve the maximum sentence of life in prison for his crimes.