Elizabeth Smart was just 14 years old when she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Utah home and tortured for nine months before being rescued. Now, the survivor is opening up about the painful experiences of being sexually abused by her captors in an explosive tell-all.
The book, titled Where There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up, out March 27, gives an in-depth look into the many nightmares Smart endured at the hands of Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee.
Upon the first day she was forced out of her home and into a “camp” in the woods, Smart was raped for the first time, she explained.
“There aren’t words to describe the humiliation, pain, and total degradation I felt over the subsequent hours,” the Salt Lake City native wrote.
“In my opinion, rape is worse than murder,” she continued. “When it was over, he stood up and walked out of the tent without the slightest shadow of regret. No concern. No remorse.”
Following the abuse, Smart recalled waking up on her first night to an evil-looking Mitchell standing over her. He had a metal cable in his hands ready to confine her inside of the tent so she wouldn’t be able to run away.
“He said he was doing me a favor by removing temptation,” said the now 30-year-old.
Smart’s captors also used force to restrain her from crying out to potential searchers looking for the missing teen. She recalled helicopters flying over the area in which she was confined, and Mitchell grabbing her “into the tent lickety-split.”
“Once Barzee was in the tent as well, he would zip the tent door shut and hold me in an iron grip,” Smart said of Mitchell.
In addition to the sexual abuse, Mitchell and Barzee made Smart drink alcohol “so I’d be easier to control,” she revealed.
“But I learned quickly that the alcohol would make me oblivious for a little while, and oblivion was the only relief I had, so I forced the alcohol on myself even though it left me vomiting and miserable,” Smart admitted.
Smart was ultimately rescued in 2003 after police found her outside of a grocery store with her captors. The survivor has since started a family with her husband, Matthew, son James and daughter Chloe.
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