09:20 AM EDT 05/09/2013
Originally posted 05/07/2013 01:45PM
Very few people can truly understand what the three women rescued from years in captivity can be feeling today – and what they may face in the years to come.
Elizabeth Smart is one of them, and she has a message.
"First of all, I'd make sure these young women know that nothing that happened to them is their fault," Smart tells PEOPLE. "They still have the same worth. They're still valuable. They haven't lost any of their worth to what's happened."
Smart was kidnapped from her home at age 14 in 2002 and forced to be a sex slave for nine months. She's now a newlywed and advocate for missing children.
Originally posted 03/08/2013 06:00PM
Elizabeth Smart is a smiling, married woman these days, but such a future was unthinkable for her in 2002.
Smart, 25, who has worked as an activist and ABC News contributor in recent years, was abducted from her home when she was 14.
Raped daily for nine months by Brian David Mitchell – a onetime homeless preacher – she was rescued in 2003. Her case drew national attention, and she is finally sharing her story – in her words – with the world.
Originally posted 11/03/2012 05:10PM
What a year!
While the nation moved through an economically challenging election year, Hollywood kept things interesting by focusing on everything from engagements and divorces to babies and bikinis.
Here, in descending order of popularity, were the biggest PEOPLE.com news stories of 2012.
Originally posted 02/25/2012 06:00AM
From the beachside kiss to the evening luau, see how Smart celebrated her big day in Hawaii
Originally posted 02/22/2012 08:00AM
A modern-day fairy tale complete with a beautiful heroine and a dashing Scottish Prince Charming, came to life on Saturday on the North shore of Oahu, Hawaii, as Elizabeth Ann Smart married her boyfriend of one year, Matthew Gilmour in an intimate ceremony attended by family and close friends.
In this week's cover story, PEOPLE shares exclusive photographs of the radiant bride and happy groom, their wedding party and evening luau – as well as exclusive details of how they met and how he proposed, the wedding day preparations and the reasons Smart chose the breathtaking shores of Oahu for her celebration.
"They are clearly besotted with each other, and it's a wonderful thing to see," the groom's mother, Kay Gilmour, tells PEOPLE.
Originally posted 02/21/2012 07:30AM
The Hawaiian wind in their hair, newlyweds Elizabeth Smart and Matthew Gilmour stepped out after tying the knot in a private ceremony there.
The young couple wed Saturday "in one of her favorite places," her spokesman tells PEOPLE, adding that having her family there made it "a dream wedding."
Smart, 24, who was kidnapped from her home in 2002 at age 14, has been involved with 22-year-old Gilmour, of Scotland, for about a year. They met in France when they were both doing Mormon mission work a couple years ago.
Originally posted 02/20/2012 08:00AM
While the average bride spends about 250 hours planning a wedding, Elizabeth Smart proved she is definitely not average, finalizing her wedding plans in record time.
Smart, 24, and Matthew Gilmour, 22, who have dated for a year, were engaged just last month. Smart initially expected to have a summer wedding but moved the date up two weeks ago.
"It's everything you can imagine with planning a wedding," Smart tells PEOPLE exclusively. "Only, it's compressed into a few days."
Originally posted 02/18/2012 06:30PM
Elizabeth Smart began a jubilant new chapter in her life Saturday – as a beaming bride.
"To be in one of her favorite places with her family has made for a dream wedding. It's been an absolutely beautiful day,'' her spokesperson, Chris Thomas, tells PEOPLE exclusively.
"She is positively radiant. And Matthew couldn’t be happier."
Smart, 24, exchanged vows with her boyfriend of one year, Matthew Gilmour, 22, in a private ceremony on Saturday afternoon in Hawaii.
Originally posted 01/20/2012 04:45PM
Elizabeth Smart is getting her happy ending.
Smart, 24, who was kidnapped from her home in 2002 at age 14, is engaged to be married, her father Ed Smart confirms to PEOPLE.
"We're very excited for her," Ed said Friday. "She told us at home last Saturday. I wasn't really surprised. They've been very happy together. We're just thrilled. We're looking forward to her moving on to this next stage and leading a very happy life."
Originally posted 10/18/2011 01:35PM
Now helping other kidnap victims with her foundation and in her role as an ABC News contributor covering missing person and child abduction cases, Elizabeth Smart was in Los Angeles Monday for the 6th annual Squeaky Wheel Tour kickoff, to help raise awareness on the 11th anniversary of singer-songwriter Gina Bos's disappearance in Nebraska.
The tour has drawn attention to thousands of missing persons and the organization's founder, Bos's sister Janelle Rap, claims their joint efforts with artists, media and law enforcement have helped lead to the discovery of more than 1,000 missing persons.
Attending Monday's event at the guitar store West LA Music with her father, Ed Smart, before returning to her classes at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Elizabeth, 23, spoke to PEOPLE about, among various topics, missing children. "There's always hope," she said. "There's my story, there's Jayceee Dugard's story and Shawn Hornbeck.
She also discussed the child safety education program radKIDS and her own Elizabeth Smart Foundation – as well as a Missouri missing child case currently making national headlines, that of Baby Lisa.
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