Elizabeth Smart Teaches Other Victims about Hope
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Elizabeth Smart was thrust into the headlines after she abducted from her home in 2002. She was held captive for 9 months and survived the unthinkable as she was chained, starved and even raped. She is now using her past to empower and inspire hope in other victims with The Elizabeth Smart Foundation.
Elizabeth, who wrote the book "Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward and Never Giving Up," joins The Doctors to speak about her experiences. She explains that she was inspired to write her second book after she was repeatedly asked how she coped with things like anger and finding hope after a traumatic experience. She sought out people she admires to share their stories and strategies for coping with a trauma and says this served as the premise for the book.
The Doctors ask how Elizabeth was able to forgive the people who abducted her. She says she feels forgiveness is the "ultimate expression fo self-love and valuing yourself." She goes on to say she believes that her captors will never care whether she forgives them, but she says whether or not she forgives them will affect her. "I just love myself too much to not do that," she says of why she chose forgiveness.
She feels it is natural to feel anger and grief in a situation like hers, but she believes that her end goal needed to be one of moving forward and hopefully finding happiness. Elizabeth also tells The Doctors that she hopes the topic of sexual violence safety is taught more in the education system and that more resources become available to young people.
She reveals to The Doctors that she still has moments that remind her of her past traumas, but she explains if she is able to remain present and in the moment, that she is able to get past those difficult moments where she is reminded of her abduction.
Elizabeth is now married and a mother of 2 and she shares the 3 things that she wants her children to always know:
- That they are loved unconditionally
- That no one has the right to scare or hurt them
- And if anyone ever does, that they tell her about it