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Elizabeth  Smart

Elizabeth Smart

Abduction Survivor & Best-Selling Author


The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. She was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Smart back to her family on March 12, 2003, after being held prisoner for nine months. She triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to conviction. Read More >

As a result of this traumatic experience, Smart has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. She is currently involved in The Elizabeth Smart Foundation and has helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.

Smart’s abduction and recovery has motivated and continues to motivate parents, law enforcement authorities and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes the vital role everyday people play in finding missing children, and the importance of never giving up hope in searching for a missing child. Smart has chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, My Story. In addition, she worked with the Department of Justice and four other recovered young adults in creating a survivors guide entitled You're Not Alone: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment. This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences to not give up hope and know that a full life can still be lived following tragic events.

Elizabeth Smart is a daily demonstration that there really is life after a tragic event. Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She emphasizes vigilance by "every day" people and the belief that hope always exist to find every missing child. Smart’s speeches not only tell her story but also cover topics such as overcoming extreme adversity and not allowing your past to dictate your future. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

TEDTalk: My Story

Elizabeth Smart Tells Her Story at Bridgewater College

Keynote Speaking at the 23rd Annual National Federation of Families Conference

Elizabeth Smart's Story, A Meredith Vieira Special

Speech Topics

My Story: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment

At the young age of 14, just before celebrating her middle school graduation, Elizabeth Smart went to sleep in her family home just as she had always done. Awakened hours later to a knife held roughly against her throat, she was taken from her home and family and held captive for nine long months. Read More >

A story most Americans remember as one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time, Elizabeth shares her incredible story of perseverance in the face of unimaginable adversity. In this captivating speech, she not only tells her personal story, but also discusses the importance and process of recovery, and not allowing your past to dictate your life's future. Elizabeth knows that there is nothing more important than having hope in a difficult situation. Having lived through an extreme circumstance as a teenager, Elizabeth gives great insight and hope to all. Read Less ^

Books & Media


My Story

Connect with Elizabeth Smart