KIDNAPPING survivor Elizabeth Smart has revealed that before she testified in court she never had a sit-down chat with her parents to explain the full extent of the abuse she suffered.
Smart, 33, was kidnapped in June 2002 in Salt Lake City, before being rescued nine months later, in March 2003.
But it wasn’t until she testified in court a years later, in 2009, that Smart’s parents, Ed and Lois, first heard the details of the abuse their daughter had suffered, Smart said.
Smart’s captor, Brian David Mitchell, is currently serving life in prison, while Mitchell's wife, Wanda Brazee, was released in September 2018.
Smart, who said she was raped daily during her kidnapping, wrote in an Instagram post on Sunday: "The truth is I never sat them all down and had a 'tell all' experience with them. Honestly when I got home I didn't want anyone to know what had happened, I was embarrassed and ashamed."
She added: "I was brought to an advocacy center where I had to disclose much of what happened to two professionals and they in turn relayed much of what happened to my parents. But I don't think my parents ever heard in detail what happened from my own lips until my court appearance almost a decade later."
Smart, who was 14 at the time of her kidnapping, was abducted at knifepoint from her parents' home in June 2002.
Her disappearance made national headlines.
The teenager was then rescued nine months later, when two witnesses happened to recognize her abductors.
In 2009, Smart testified in court that she had been drugged, tied to a tree and raped – sometimes as often as four times a day.
She was also reportedly chained up in a makeshift campsite, before being moved to Lakeside, California.
Now married with three children, Smart has devoted her life to campaigning against child abduction and sexual violence.
In her post on Sunday, Smart explained how her case should be viewed differently to others, as there was no-one out there doubting her accusations.
She wrote: "I also want to point out my case was highly publicized, everyone already knew crimes were committed against me. So it didn’t take me coming forward and disclosing the extent of my abuse to multiple people before my captors were taken into custody. Nor did I have people doubt me.
"For these and many other reasons I want Victim’s to know that #Ibelieveyou."
Over the weekend, Smart also shared a picture of herself and her parents from when she was a teen.
Accompanying the image, she issued thank-you message for the support she and her family received.
She wrote: 'Thank you to every person who searched for me, prayed for me, followed my story, and did everything they could to bring me home safely!"
"I shudder to think what my life would be like if it weren’t for good everyday people! Would I still be with my captors?
"Would I even be alive? How could I survive so long if I were still with them?"
Smart co-wrote a memoir entitled My Story in 2013, which recounted her experience in captivity.
She later published another book entitled 'Where There's Hope: Healing, Moving Forward and Never Giving Up' in 2018.
Source: Read Full Article