Elizabeth Smart Speaks to Support Children's Advocacy Center
Apr 16, 2012 at 9:41 PM CST
May 20, 2013
The Children’s Advocacy Center held their 13th annual conference on Monday, featuring a well-known victim, Elizabeth Smart. Smart shared her heart-breaking story with the people of Laredo Monday night. The Elizabeth Smart kidnapping made national headlines almost ten years ago. Smart was taken from her home in the middle of the night and was found nine months later. Smart has used her experience to start the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and support a national program called radKIDS. "RadKIDS will help give them the skills to fight off the attacker, whether it’s doing the shin kick, which radKIDS will learn in the training or learning how to elbow them in the head." RAD stands for resisting aggression defensively. It teaches kids how to fight back, how to speak out, and who they can trust. It's a program Sylvia Bruni brought to Laredo after hearing Elizabeth speak in Dallas. "I was very interested. Went to that presentation come out of it determined we were going to bring it to Laredo and we're probably the only city in the entire state that is doing the child safety program across the community." (Lorraine Laurel, CAC board president): "It is very strong in Laredo. Every single one of both our school districts, LISD and UISD has embraced and has trained their coaches. Not necessarily a coach, coach. But a person for the radKIDS program." Smart's story of how she was taken from her home in the middle of the night, and sexually assaulted almost every night touched many people. She says she is an advocate of the radKIDS program because another child should not have to suffer like she did. "I know what I experienced.....and I would never want another child to feel the same way. There's terrible things, terrible things that happen every single day and I was a victim of that and I know how that made me feel and how that made me think." Smart spoke out at both the conference during the day and the fundraiser at night. You can learn more about the radKIDS program by logging on to elizabethsmartfoundation.org/radkids.