Kidnap Victim Elizabeth Smart Takes On Brave New Role

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elizabeth smartWe all remember Elizabeth Smart as the girl who was kidnapped, but soon she may have another claim to "fame" -- it's rumored that ABC is ready to announce that they've hired Elizabeth Smart to be their go-to contributor and pundit covering missing persons stories. Smart will likely appear as the missing persons expert on Good Morning America and Nightline and will share her insight and personal understanding of kidnap events.

Smart was snatched from her Salt Lake City bedroom when she was 14 and was found nine months later -- her capture and recovery were widely reported in the news. Most recently, Smart testified to being threatened, tied, and raped daily during her captivity and has started a foundation to help teens avoid and recover from violent events.

Is it weird that Smart's going to use her terrifying pain for employment?

I don't think so. I agree that it seems a little bizarre, even creepy, possibly exploitative at first, but I want to give Smart a little more credit than assuming she's somehow "selling" her tragedy.

At 23 years old, Smart is an intelligent college grad who's taken years to overcome the horrific events that took place in 2002. She's said she's ready to move on, and I think this correspondence job will help her do that. Yes, she'll have to talk about it, yes, she'll relate the latest kidnapping or missing child's story to her own, yes, she'll likely share some gory details of her personal experience, but I think that could be cathartic.

No one can change their history and I admire Smart for facing hers head on and using her horrifying experience to help others understand missing persons cases. I don't think collecting a paycheck for that is such a bad thing, either. 

The more information that's shared about kidnappings, the better. If viewers only tune in to hear what Smart has to say about a case, because they're looking for an inside scoop, because they want Smart to say something salacious, then great. The more people who know about the story, the better, no matter what their motive.

Do you think Smart's new gig is creepy or cathartic?


Photo via George Frey/Getty

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dirti... dirtiekittie

i think it's a little of both... i mean, cathartic for her sure, because you can't live in that pain every day and do that kind of job. you have to be ready to face your own biggest demons, and she's got some far larger than any of us contend with. on the other hand, it could be creepy depending on how they treat the segment.  we get enough ranting and raving and emotional tmi from nancy grace, and you don't need to exploit a victim to get that kind of showboating and attention (and ratings). ultimately, the reasons to do it are hers, and i hope she's doing it for the right ones.

Payton Irwin

I think she's in a unique position to provide insight into the reality of kidnapping from the victim's point of view. She's also educated enough to pull it off intelligently and, likely, with as few theatrics as possible.


Having seen her in interviews, I highly doubt she's doing this for the publicity. I'm not religious, but I bet her religious convictions have a lot to do with this. I wouldn't be surprised if she thought she went through something horrible and God allowed her to live so she could help others.

Tracie Carter Hans

It worked for John Walsh,, who is real close to the family, so Im sure it will work for her. 

Abbey Rockin'Mom Baxter

Not sure how I feel about this one. It could be really healing for her, to feel like after everything she has suffered she can make some good come from it. Or, it will force her to just keep having to relive those horrible memories again and gain and could mentally be bad for her. Only time will tell I suppose.

Wyndi Wyndi

I see it as a way for her to help others and help herself at the same time. As it is she survived a horrific event in her young life and will give parents of missing children hope that thier child(-ren) will be found alive.


 

Kaytee Wieking Becerra

I commend her for going through the hell she went through and be able to even form a sentence, let alone get on national tv.  If this is what she's chosen - I say go for it!

Dawn Babcock Papple

Sometimes I think bad things happen to us to shape us into people who will help the world. That may be the case for this woman. Regardless, who else would fill that role better?  It's no different than a boy who grows up to be a doctor because of a horrible medical experience. Ir someone wanting to be a fire fighter because he lost someone in a house fire.  

livn4... livn4hevn

I think it's great... I mean the best person to help someone in need is someone who has been there and understands what they are going through. I chose my career path because of that very thing. Why not get paid to do what only YOU can do?

Bobbi Jo Cozby Caulfield

I know she's already written some type of pamphlet about missing children in how to help them and families in recovery...something like that. I'm pretty sure she is not doing this for money. It seems she is in a good place mentally and emotionally to sue this terrifying experience to help others understand what a recovered missing child goes through.  Definitely nothing anyone can understand unless they have been through such an ordeal themselves.

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