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“I will never stop believing in the goodness of humanity,’ Elizabeth Smart to share story at Jackson Convention Complex

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 7:00 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Elizabeth Smart survived the nightmare of daily rapes by her kidnapper, who took her from her home in Utah when she was only 14-years-old.

Through her foundation, Smart has made it her life’s work to help other victims.

Smart is in Jackson to discuss sex trafficking and to spread a message of hope at the Catholic Charities Journey of Hope. Smart will share her message with an audience of more than 750 people Tuesday at the Jackson Convention Complex.

Elizabeth Smart spent nine months in captivity, and had no idea if she would survive or ever see her family again. Smart says her faith was the anchor during the devastating kidnapping and rapes when she was just a teenager.

“That first person, how they respond to you, can really set the trajectory to whether you head upwards and you head on a healing, uplifting kind of pathway and reclaiming your life. Or, it can cause you to hold things inside you and have it destroy you from the inside out,” said Smart.

Smart has written two books, and on Monday night, she signed copies of “Where There’s Hope,” at Bravo Restaurant. She talked with 3 On Your Side about her purpose and mission to help other victims through the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and the We Believe You campaign.

“So many victims and survivors of sexual abuse, rape, and violence are too scared to speak out,” explained Smart.

“I mean, I’ve traveled to all 50 states, and I’ve been all around North America, and the number one comment that I receive without a doubt is that no one believes me.’

The best selling author, wife and mother says she still believes in the human spirit.

“I will never stop believing in the goodness of humanity because I was rescued, because of every day people who were just out doing their shopping, out eating at a restaurant that saw something strange, called the police, and that’s what lead to my rescue.”

Smart will share how she has overcome adversity, why she continues to fight sexual exploitation, sex trafficking and why advocacy and prevention education are so important.

“At the end of the day, pain is pain, and if we have the opportunity, let’s put some purpose to it and make the world a better place,” said Smart.

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