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Elizabeth Smart on Her Captor: 'Pornography Made My Living Hell Worse'

Michael W. Chapman
By Michael W. Chapman | August 22, 2016 | 2:58 PM EDT

Elizabeth Smart, around the time that 

she was kidnapped at age 14 in 2002.

(AP)

Elizabeth Ann Smart, who was kidnapped in 2002 from her home at age 14 and raped daily by her captor for nine months when authorities finally rescued her in 2003, is speaking out now about her horrifying experience and how pornography spurred her captor to rape her even more frequently and compelled him to force Smart to engage in the hardcore practices displayed in the pornography.

“It just led to him raping me more, more than he already did, which was a lot,” said Smart, now 28, in a video for the group “Fight The New Drug,” which raises awareness about the harm pornography causes. 

“Looking at pornography wasn’t enough for him,” said Smart of her captor.  “Having sex with his wife after looking at pornography, it wasn’t enough for him. Then it led him to finally going out and kidnapping me. He just always wanted more.”

“All I know is that pornography made my living Hell worse,” said Smart in the video, which was released on Aug. 19.

In June 2002, Elizabeth Smart lived with parents and siblings in well-to-do suburb of Salt Lake City, Utah.

As for the night of June 5, 2002, Smart explains, “When I was 14, I remember crawling into bed next to my younger sister and falling to sleep. The next thing I remember hearing was a man’s voice saying, ‘I have a knife at your neck, don’t make a sound. Get up and come with me.’”

“I remember getting up and doing exactly as he said because I didn’t know if he had been through my house already,” she said.  “I didn’t know if he’d killed the rest of my family. The one thing I did know though was my younger sister was in bed next to me alive.”

“He led me out behind my house to the mountains,” said Smart.  “I was brought into this campsite. It was very well stocked, very well hidden, and it was this man who kidnapped me and his wife was waiting for us there. The woman took me into the tent where she forced me to change the clothes I had on, and then she got up and left.”

“Then the next thing I knew the man was in there telling me I was his wife and then raping me,” said Smart. She later testified in court that her captor, Brian David Mitchell, raped her 3-4 times daily.

Smart continued, “Then I remember he was kneeling above me and he had this piece of metal cable and he wrapped it around my ankle and crushing these bones into place so I couldn’t escape. That was the beginning of what turned into the longest nine months of my life.”

Brian David Mitchell, who kidnapped

Elizabeth Smart, held her captive, and

repeatedly raped the 14-year-old girl

over the course of 9 months. He was

sentenced in 2011 to life in

prison without parole. (AP) 

“So every time when I thought I’d hit rock bottom, my captor would find something new to make it worse.,” she said.  “And one of those times I had been forced to drink alcohol, and I had thrown up and had passed out face down. And I woke up the next morning and my face and my hair were still encrusted to the ground, covered in vomit, and I remember at that point just feeling like, ‘how can you get any lower than this?’”

“It was just a few days later that my captor was really excited and really kind of amped up about something,” said Smart. “He said, ‘Oh, I have something and I’m going to show it to you. You have to look at it, you have to look at it.’”

“Then I remember he pulled out this magazine full of hardcore pornography and I remember he would just sit and look at it and stare at it, and talk about these women,” she said.  “And then when he was done, he would turn and he’d look at me and he’d be like, ‘now, we’re going to do this.’ It just led to him raping me more, more than he already did, which was a lot.”

“Looking at pornography wasn’t enough for him,” said Elizabeth Smart. “Having sex with his wife after looking at pornography, it wasn’t enough for him. Then it led him to finally going out and kidnapping me. He just always wanted more.”

“I can’t say he wouldn’t have gone out and kidnapped me if he hadn’t looked at pornography,” she said. “All I know is that pornography made my living Hell worse.”

Later in the video, Smart says, “I have gone on to become an advocate for abuse prevention, an advocate against pornography. I witnessed first hand just how damaging it is.”

For more information on “Fight The New Drug” and how pornography is harmful to women, men, families and society, click here.

For information about the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, click here. 


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Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman
Michael W. Chapman