SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A woman who was held captive for nine months has underscored the importance of work performed by health care professionals, law enforcement and social workers to rescue and support kidnap victims.
Elizabeth Smart-Gilmour told a South Dakota forum on Wednesday that such work "makes a difference" in the fight against human trafficking and sexual abuse.
Smart-Gilmour was taken from her Utah bedroom in June 2002 at age 14 and held for nine months. The now-26-year-old described her capture and the repeated sexual assaults she endured. She told how she was moved from Utah to California.
The conference aims to raise awareness about human trafficking in the Dakotas, partly fueled by the recent massive influx of oil workers to area.
Smart-Gilmour heads a foundation that educates children about sexual crimes.