Elizabeth Smart Reveals Details Of Kidnapping: "Pornography Made My Living Hell Worse"

November 13, 2017
By: Catherine Townsend
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Elizabeth Smart (screenshot)

Photo by: Fight the New Drug

Fight the New Drug

Elizabeth Smart (screenshot)

It’s been 15 years since the fateful night she was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home, and Elizabeth Smart has revealed the role that pornography played in her horrific ordeal.

On the night of June 5, 2002, Brian David Mitchell abducted then-14-year-old Smart from her bedroom and took her to a campsite a few miles from her family home, where his wife Wanda Eileen Barzee informed her that she was now Mitchell’s “wife.” Mitchell, whom Smart refers to only as her “captor,” chained Smart up and repeatedly raped her. Smart said that he also forced her to drink alcohol and look at “hardcore” pornographic magazines.

“He would just sit and look at it and stare at it, and he would just talk about these women, and then when he was done, he would turn and look at me, and he would be like, ‘Now we’re going to do this,'” Smart, 28, said in a video posted by Fight The New Drug, an anti-porn nonprofit group.

“Looking at pornography wasn’t enough for him,” she said.

“Having sex with his wife after looking at pornography wasn’t enough for him. And then it led into finally going out and kidnapping me. He just always wanted more. I can’t say that he would not have gone out and kidnapped me if he had not looked at pornography. All I can say is that pornography made my living hell worse.”

Smart’s nightmare came to an end on March 12, 2003, when she was recognized on the street in Sandy, Utah, and rescued by police.

Smart has spoken extensively about her experiences over the years and become an outspoken advocate for women and children dealing with violent sexual trauma. She founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, and has supported sexual-predator legislation including the AMBER alert.

In 2011, she became engaged to Matthew Gilmour, a native of Scotland. The couple married in a private ceremony in Hawaii on February 18, 2012. The couple has two children together.

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