Elizabeth Smart, the kidnapping survivor whose nine-month abduction garnered national news coverage and later compelled her to light the way for others as a child safety advocate and author, will speak at Northern Michigan University on Monday, Oct. 2. Her talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Northern Center Grand Ballroom and will be followed by a book signing. Tickets are $5 for the general public and free for NMU students with ID.
In one of the most followed child abduction cases of this era, Smart was 14 when she was kidnapped from her house in June of 2002 by a religious fanatic and his wife. She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. After her rescue on March 12, 2003, she rejoined her family and worked to pick up the pieces of her life.
Smart's New York Times best-selling memoir, My Story, reveals how she survived and the secret to forging a new life in the wake of a brutal crime. She recently released a new book on what it takes to overcome trauma, find the strength to move on and reclaim one's life. Where There's Hope is both a personal glimpse into her healing process and a how-to guide on making peace with the past and embracing the future.
In addition, Smart and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivors guide titled, “You're Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life. She also established the Elizabeth Smart Foundation to bring hope and ending the victimization and exploitation of sexual assault through education, healing and advocacy.
Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She married her husband, Matthew, in 2012, and they have two children.
NMU's Platform Personalities is hosting Smart's presentation. Tickets can be purchased at nmu.universitytickets.com.