News

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart speaks in Lethbridge: ‘Happiness is possible’

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart speaks in Lethbridge: ‘Happiness is possible’
Canada
At 14, Elizabeth Smart was taken from her family’s Salt Lake City, Utah, home and held captive for nine months.

Her captors, Brian David Mitchell — who abducted Smart at knifepoint and repeatedly raped her — and Wanda Barzee were sentenced to life in prison and 15 years in prison, respectively.

Smart, now 32, is married with three young children, and focuses her efforts on advocacy for child safety.

“I think she brings with her a story of hope and empowerment,” said Madeline Gormley, manager of information services for Lethbridge Public Library, which hosted the event.

Smart was the final speaker in the library’s Centennial Speaker Series, which celebrated the institution’s 100th anniversary.

Gormley said tickets for the two time slots for the Smart event at the Yates Memorial Theatre sold out in two days.

“The library is looking to share stories from all walks of life, and so Elizabeth has a really high profile story to share and a lot of advice that I think she can give the rest of us,” Gormley said.

Event organizers did not grant media the opportunity to interview Smart, but she answered audience questions during the nearly two-hour talk.

Smart said despite the dark events of her childhood, she is grateful that she can help other victims with her high-profile position now.

She assured those in attendance that an adverse past does not have to dictate your future.

“Happiness is possible,” Smart told the audience, “and I know it sounds almost cliché, but even if you can’t be happy right now, just believe it exists.”
Read more on globalnews.ca
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
World
Elizabeth Smart, second from left, narrates the drama, which stars newcomer Alana Boden, second from right, as Smart and Skeet Ulrich, left, as her abductor.    Michael Kovac / Getty Images...
World
A woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart is living several blocks from a Salt Lake City elementary school following her release from prison in September, according to Utah’s sex offender registry....
World
CONCORD, N.H. Pamela Smart is again asking for a chance at freedom nearly three decades after she was sentenced to life in prison without parole for recruiting her teenage...
World
Elizabeth Smart is set to discuss the surprise announcement that one of the people who kidnapped her when she was 14 will be released from prison earlier than expected. Smart...
Top Stories
LONDON — When the Duchess of Sussex joined the Royal family, she promised to “hit the ground running” in embarking on meaningful work. On Thursday , as the former Meghan Markle...