Elizabeth Smart reveals she had suicidal thoughts after kidnapping, assault

Elizabeth Smart attends a November 2015 press conference. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 19, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart revealed Tuesday that she had thoughts of suicide after being raped by her abductor.

“I don’t think there’s a single victim out there who hasn’t considered suicide at one time because of what they have gone through,” Smart said on “Crime Watch Daily,” a syndicated television show to which she contributes.

“For me, because I grew up in a very conservative Christian neighborhood, the first time I was raped I remember feeling devastated,” Smart, now 29, told show host Chris Hansen.

“I felt like it would be better to be dead than to continue living being a rape victim, being a rape survivor,” Smart said. ” … I felt in that moment if there had been an easy way out, I probably would have taken it.”

Smart, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was 14 in 2002 when she was kidnapped from her bedroom in the Federal Heights area of Salt Lake City.
When she was recovered nine months later, it was revealed that she had been taken as a second “wife” for a self-proclaimed prophet whose real name is Brian David Mitchell. Mitchell is now serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.
Smart told Hansen on the show that victims don’t need to be judged for being raped.
“Victims need support,” she said. “Victims need their communities to help them move forward.”

Speaking of her case and another profiled on the episode, Smart said bullying victims on social media is wrong.

“No person should be able to feel they have the right to tear down a survivor just because they can do it on social media,” she said. “Education is the key to prevention.”

Smart has said in previous interviews that she felt trauma returning to LDS Church and hearing lessons on the importance of virtue after her many rapes, and she felt judged and valueless.

Smart, the mother of a young daughter and son, said she tells them daily that she loves them unconditionally.


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