FINDLAY, OH (WTOL) - Elizabeth Smart, survivor of one of the most publicized child abductions in U.S. history, will speak at the University of Findlay on October 13.
Smart was abducted from her home in Utah on June 5, 2002. Her captors threatened to kill her and her family if she tried to escape, so Smart was held prisoner for nine long months.
Police were able to rescue her and return her to her family on March 12, 2003.
Smart testified in court before her captor and the world about the nightmare she endured, leading to conviction.
She went on to attend Brigham Young University as a harp performance major and married her husband, Matthew, in 2012.
Smart is now an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation.
Smart has since helped promote the national AMBER Alert, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act and other legislation to prevent abductions.
She also founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and has worked with the U.S. Department of Justice to create a survivors' guide for children who have gone through a similar experience.
She says that vigilance by "every day" people is important to preventing abductions, and promotes the belief that hope always exists to find every missing child and that life goes on after a tragic event.
Smart will be speaking in UF's Alumni Memorial Union's Multipurpose Room at 3 p.m.
Her speech is free and open to the public.
She will then be speaking at a private fundraiser for the Center for Safe and Healthy Children held at UF's Mazza Museum.