US kidnap victim relives 'filthy' moment when she was raped aged 14
London, May 6 (ANI): An American girl, who was kidnapped at the age of 14 from her home and held captive for nine months, discussed her ordeal on Friday saying that she 'felt dirty and filthy and worthless' when the captor declared that she was his 'wife' and raped her.
In a moving speech, Elizabeth Smart revealed her fears that she would be killed by her captor - she even begged him to leave her body somewhere where her family could find it, the Daily Mail reported.
And she also spoke about the moment she resolved to escape, in an attempt to repay the love her mother had always given her.
Smart was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah in the dead of night in June 2002 aged only 14.
On Friday she told a gathering of lawyers in Palm Beach that she initially thought she was dreaming when Brian David Mitchell threatened her with a knife, according to the Palm Beach Daily News.
"In that moment, I felt my only choice was to get up and go with this man if I didn't want to die," she said.
"I thought it was life or death."
Mitchell took her into the mountains, and Elizabeth reflected on stories she had heard of kidnapped children being killed.
"I said, "If you are just going to rape and murder me, would you please do it here so my family can find my remains," because I wanted them to know that I didn't run away."
"He turned to me and said, 'I'm not going to do that to you yet.'"
Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee took the girl into their home and he performed a quasi-religious ceremony on her making her his 'wife', then raped her.
"I'll never forget how that made me feel, how dirty and filthy and worthless," she said.
"I lost all my self-worth in a matter of seconds. I thought, 'How could anyone love me again, how could my family accept me back?'"
"I thought, 'It would be better if he just killed me.'"
But at that point she was inspired by the memory of a time she had been a victim of bullying at school and was crying to her mother.
"She said she'd always love me," Smart said.
"In that moment I decided to do everything in my power to be reunited with my family."
After nine months of torment, the girl and her captors were seen in public by a bystander who recognised her from the huge publicity campaign that surrounded her disappearance.
Smart was returned to her family, and her mother gave her some advice, which she insisted was vital in helping her re-adjust to normal life.
"The morning after I came home, my mother said, 'This man has taken nine months of your life. Don't give him another minute. The best punishment for him is for you to be happy and follow your dreams.'"
Smart, now 24, concluded by telling her audience that she had not let her horrific experience 'define who I am', and asserted that she now had a 'great life'.
She married Scotsman Matthew Gilmour in a Mormon temple in Hawaii in February.
Mitchell was sentenced to life imprisonment on kidnapping charges, while Barzee has served two years of a 15-year sentence. (ANI)
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