Elizabeth SmartIn an effort to bring awareness in April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Family & Children’s Center has invited Ms. Smart to South Bend to share her story of resiliency, hope and recovery. The event, An Evening with Elizabeth, will be open to the public. Tickets ($10) will go on sale Thursday, February 1 and can be purchased here: www.bidpal.net/elizabethsmart

Due to the sensitive nature of this topic, this event is recommended for ages 12 and up.

The event will be heldin downtown South Bend at the Century Center on Wednesday, April 11 and will also include a book signing and the opportunity for individuals to meet Elizabeth.

The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003 after being held prisoner for 9 grueling months.

Through this traumatic experience Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and National legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which lead to conviction.

Roxanne Ultz, Executive Director at Family & Children’s Center has read Elizabeth’s book and recently watched the A&E documentary. Roxanne said, “The piece that stood out to me most was the conversation Elizabeth had with her mother after she was rescued.

‘Whatever you have been through is so horrific — and no one should have to endure that — but if you let it ruin the rest of your life, he wins.’

The wisdom in her mother’s words and the resilience of Elizabeth are unmatched.  It is vital that others hear her story and know that a positive, happy life is possible after difficult circumstances, no matter what those circumstances are.  Elizabeth’s story gives hope to those who have been in similar circumstances and demonstrates the power of resiliency.”

Elizabeth has chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, “My Story.” In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivorsguide, entitled, “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Adria Minniear by email aminniear@fccin.org or phone (574) 968-9660. More details concerning times will be released closer to the event.