- (Photo: Reuters/Michael Brandy)
It's been 10 years since Elizabeth Smart was taken from her home in the middle of the night and held captive for nine months. Now the 25-year-old survivor is speaking out, revealing new details about her horrifying ordeal.
Brian David Mitchell and wife Wanda Ileen Barzee took Smart from her home and held her captive, raping her on an almost daily basis and abusing her in both physical and psychological ways. Smart testified at both of their trials, and Mitchell was sentenced to life behind bars, while Barzee was sentenced to 15 years.
"I mean, here I was, a 14-year-old girl, ripped from my family, from the life I knew, from my friends, from the people I loved – being raped every day, not knowing when I'd be able to eat next, not knowing when I'd be able to drink next, and being chained to a tree. I didn't feel human," Smart said in a new interview with Meredith Vieria.
"I don't think there's anything worse you can do to a child," Smart added. "To her, I was a slave, and to him, I was an object."
Smart has worked hard to overcome her reputation as a victim and is focused on her life now and helping other child-victim survivors. She formed the Elizabeth Smart Foundation to help prevent crimes against children.
"Too many families experience the nightmare of having a child go missing," the site reads. "I know what it is like to be that child. That is why the 'Elizabeth Smart Foundation' was created, because what if we could prevent future crimes against children? Wouldn't it be worth it to do everything to bring home that one child?"
Smart also has a new book, "My Story," which will be published this week. In it, she details how she managed to survive the kidnapping and how she has readjusted to life in the time since she's been home.