Elizabeth Smart shares her story of survival at NMU

A survivor of a kidnapping and rape shared her story at Northern Michigan University on Monday night.
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 10:30 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A survivor of a kidnapping and rape shared her story at Northern Michigan University (NMU) on Monday night.

Elizabeth Smart is a kidnapping survivor whose nine-month abduction garnered national news coverage.

Smart was 14 when she was kidnapped from her house in June 2002.

She was kept chained, dressed in disguise, repeatedly raped and told she and her family would be killed if she tried to escape. During the ordeal, Smart said it was her parents’ love that helped her survive.

“I remember a memory coming into my mind and it was my mom telling me how much she loved me and that she would never ever stop,” Smart said.

“My dad, he will always love me as well, maybe nobody else will. Maybe it will just be my parents but that’s okay, that’s enough, that’s worth surviving for.”

Now, Smart has written two books, including her most recent called ‘Where There’s Hope.’ In that book, Smart said it’s important to find what makes you happy to get you through dark or tough times.

“We’re all survivors of something so, because bad things do happen, make time to find the happiness in life,” Smart said.

“Make time to find your peace or your joy, so that when you’re going through the darkness you remember that happiness is real.”

After the presentation, Smart signed copies of her books for audience members.

NMU’s Platform Personalities student group hosted Smart’s presentation. Bailey Gomes, the president of Platform Personalities said she hopes this story inspires others.

“There is life after terrible things and bad things happen to good people but we can take those bad things and turn them around to make the most of it and make something of our lives,” Gomes said.

“We are not defined by the things that happen to us rather, we are defined by the ways that we react to that and the ways that we move on.”

Smart continues to share her inspirational story nationwide.