Elizabeth Smart - the little blonde-haired, blue-eyed 14-year-old who was kidnapped at knifepoint, chained to a tree and raped repeatedly over a horrific nine-month period - has become the surprising new face of a growing anti-pornography movement.
For the first time since her kidnapping 14 years ago, Elizabeth has provided alarming details about the insidious role that pornography played during her time in captivity. She said that porn "made my living hell worse’’. The statements were made in a video for the anti-porn organisation Fight the New Drug, where Elizabeth describes how her kidnapper David Brian Mitchell used porn as inspiration to perform deplorable acts on his young victim.
"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," Elizabeth explained.
The young Mormon shot to fame as a 14 year old in 2002 when she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her Salt Lake City bedroom by Mitchell, taken to a makeshift bush camp and forced to be his ``virgin bride’’ raping her up to three or four times every day. Elizabeth later wrote that her life consisted of three things: ``getting raped, being forced to drink alcohol and sitting on a bucket tethered to a tree.’’ Mitchell held her captive by claiming he would kill her family if she tried to escape. He is currently serving a life sentence for the kidnapping.
After her rescue, Elizabeth reunited with her family, has since married and now has a young daughter, Chloe. But the most striking element of her survival and her story as a kidnapping victim is that she appears unscathed from the experience – a trait which she attributes to her mother. The video concludes with the advice her mother gave to her after her headline-making rescue in 2003. "She said to me, 'Elizabeth, what these people have done to you is so terrible and you may never feel like restitution is made, but the best punishment that you could ever give them is to be happy.' " Smart said. "And that advice has helped make me who I am today."