Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart is set to write a memoir describing her nine-month-long ordeal. According to The Associated Press, Ms. Smart will describe her kidnapping at knife point from her Utah home in 2002, her rescue nine months later and her work as the founder and president of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation to provide support for victims of child crimes.
Ms. Smart has made tremendous progress since being taken away from her parents approximately a decade ago. She is now a 25-year-old college senior at Brigham Young University and married to fellow Mormon missionary Matthew Gilmour. The two tied the knot earlier this year in Hawaii.
Ms. Smart's memoir will be written by Utah Congressman-elect Chris Stewart. The congressman-elect has written other books with religious and patriotic themes, including a New York Times bestseller.
“She has taken a professional outlook on this and is able to talk in an impressive way about these things frankly,” Congressman Stewart told The AP. “She’s not shying away from this story."
Brian David Mitchell, the itinerant street preacher who kidnapped Ms. Smart at knife point in 2002, was convicted in December 2010 of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for purposes of illegal sex. Mr. Mitchell had done handyman work at the Smart's house prior to Elizabeth's kidnapping.
Mr. Mitchell will spend the rest of his life in prison for his crimes.
While being interviewed at Mr. Mitchell's trial, Ms. Smart told jurors that her kidnapper would pray for sex before he raped her.
"The things that he would say in his prayers were things that I would never have said," Ms. Smart said during the trial, according to ABC News. "He would say, 'Please bless me,' that I would be able to cope with my wifely duties and be able to rise to the occasion and fulfill my wifely duties. That is about the farthest thing from my prayers."
Ms. Smart's faith helped her cope with the nine-month nightmare of being held against her will, raped and sexually abused.
"Nine months of living with him and seeing him proclaim that he was God's servant and called to do God's work and everything he did to me ... is something that I know that God would not tell somebody to do," Ms. Smart added. "God would never tell someone to kidnap her at knife point from their bed, from her sister's side ... never continue to rape her and sexually abuse her."
Christopher Thomas, Ms. Smart's publicist, told The AP that Ms. Smart's book will also describe her work with the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.
"She started the foundation to get her message across, and book was another way to do it," Mr. Thomas remarked.
According to the AP, Ms. Smart's memoir will be the fourth book about her ordeal. "Help Captive" was published shortly after Ms. Smart's rescue. "Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope" was written by her parents and "Plain Sight: The Starting Truth Behind the Elizabeth Smart Investigation" was written by news photographer Tom Smart (Ms. Smart's uncle).
The Elizabeth Smart Foundation tries to prevent and stop predatory crimes by supporting law enforcement in the rescuing of victims. The foundation also tries to empower children through education and understanding of choices and options.
Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped, like Ms. Smart, at a young age. Ms. Dugard was found alive after 18 years of captivity and her memoir, "A Stolen Life," soared to the top of the bestseller lists when it was released in 2011. Ms. Smart's memoir is expected to the do the same when it's released.
Have something to say? Let us know in the comments section or send an email to the author. You can share ideas for stories by contacting us here.