Elizabeth Smart discusses her kidnapping at human trafficking conference

Elizabeth Smart-Gilmour, as she is now known, traveled to South Dakota for the forum. Elizabeth Smart-Gilmour runs a foundation that educates kids about sexual crimes.

Elisha Page, Argus Leader/AP
Elizabeth Smart-Gilmour speaks on overcoming adversity and her story of being kidnapped when she was 14, during a conference on violent crime and human trafficking held in Sioux Falls, S.D., Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014.

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.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.