Elizabeth Smart, the Salt Lake City 14-year old who was abducted at knifepoint from her befroom in 2002 and held captive for nine months, has recently joined ABC News as a contributor.Â Now 23, SmartÂ is raising her voice to advocate for children, through her new role at ABC News, as well as through her foundation, the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.
Smart’s disappearance in 2002 both disturbed and inspired the nation as people everywhere rallied to support the search to find her. Her discovery 9 months after her kidnapping clearly showed that we should never give up hope in the search for missing and lost children.
Today, Smart uses her voice and visibility to advocate for protecting children from abuse and abduction.
She has been a visible presence on Capitol Hill lobbying for funding and children’s rights issues, something she said” will continue to be a top priority.
“One of the issues I would really like to address today is right now in Washington there is so much talk of funding and cutting funding,” she said. “It is so essential we not cut any funding related to children.” She and her family recently established the Elizabeth Smart Foundation as a platform to use their experiences over the past nine years to focus on protecting children from falling victim to kidnapping and sexual crimes.
One top priority for Smart is to use her visibility to promote the “Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force,” a multi-jurisdictional group helps state and local law enforcement agencies respond to cybercrimes against kids.
“The Foundation is really helping to push and support the Internet Task Force as much as possible,” she said. “It’s really something we just can’t afford to cut.”