Elizabeth Smart has told an East Texas audience that she sees each day as a gift and refuses to be burdened by the torment she felt when taken captive as a child.
Smart was 14 when she was abducted from her Salt Lake City home in 2002 by a homeless street preacher. She was sexually assaulted repeatedly before her captor was recognized on a Utah street nine months later, setting in motion her release.
The Longview News-Journal reports she spoke Thursday at an event organized by Longview Regional Medical Center, telling the crowd that people have the choice to keep moving forward or to "allow our trials to suck us back."
Smart says her abduction left her "shattered," but she decided "to survive and make it home again."
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