PROVO, Utah, May 26, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Elizabeth Smart has signed on with syndicated series “Crime Watch Daily” as a special correspondent. And she made her debut with a story about the current “Honor Code versus rape victim” controversy at her alma mater, Brigham Young University.
“I am very passionate about victims who are scared to come forward for any reason, but this reason shouldn’t even be a reason: something put in place to protect students, called the Honor Code,” Smart said in her first appearance on the series.
“It really makes me feel terrible that these women are not coming forward and getting the help that they not only need but deserve, because they’re too worried about the rules that are in place — worried that they might get expelled.”
Smart is a vocal advocate for rape and kidnapping victims after her own experience at age 14. Smart, now 28, was taken from her bedroom in the Federal Heights area of Salt Lake City in 2002.
She was kidnapped by a self-proclaimed prophet who wanted her for his second wife. Smart was hidden, abused and controlled by her kidnapper and his wife.
Smart was located and rescued nine months later. As a speaker, she has talked about the shame she felt as a young teenager who had been raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which stresses the importance of remaining virtuous and pure.
After Smart was raped, she felt impure and valueless, she has said.
Smart rebuilt her self-esteem and her life after the kidnapping, and graduated from Brigham Young University. BYU is currently in the news after investigating whether Madi Barney, a student who said she was raped, committed an honor code-violation in connection with the reported crime.
Barney and other women who say they were raped while attending BYU have said they hesitated to report the crime committed against them for fear they would be punished with the university’s honor-code violation penalties, which can include expulsion.
To see the two-part interview Smart conducted with BYU students, click on the players above and below. “Crimewatch Daily” airs at 2 p.m. weekdays on Fox 13.