DANIEL ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Abduction survivor Elizabeth Smart joined the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center Friday on Daniel Island, to share her story of survival and empowerment.
Smart was kidnapped at knifepoint from her home in Salt Lake City when she was only 14. She was held against her will for nine months before being re-united safely with her family. Her high-profile case has led to a journey to becoming a victims' advocate and author.
Smart has helped promote the national Amber Alert program, The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, and other legislation designed to help prevent abductions.
In 2013, she wrote the New York Times best-selling book, My Story and worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivors' guide entitled, You're Not Alone: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment.
"Statistically speaking, when I speak to a crowd like today I know I'm not the only person in there that's been abused," Smart said. "Even if they haven't come forward and shared their story, if they at least feel they are not alone and someone else has gone through it, and they can related to something I've said, it makes it all worth it."
The Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center hosted Smart as part of a 25th anniversary fundraising luncheon at the Daniel Island Club.
The advocacy center has helped 25,000 child victims since 1991.