Elizabeth Smart was just 14 when she was kidnapped at knife point from her home.
"I questioned how long I'd have to live like that and I questioned whether or not, if something would happen to me while I was still young, so that I couldn't go back to see my family again. But I didn't think it was impossible to see my family again," said Smart.
She calls her survival a miracle.
"Because it so easily could have turned out the other way, it so easily could have turned out that I never came home. You never know how strong you truly are until you're forced to go through something you did not want to go through.:
And today, she uses the trauma she experienced to help others, by speaking out to prevent abductions.
"It's such a terrible topic, I mean no body wants to hear about the little boy next door is being abused or the little girl down the street is being raped. No body wants to hear that and even as an adult who suffered something like that as a child, it's very very difficult to talk about and its very hard to come forward and admit it happened. I mean you don't want people to look at you differently, you don't want to re-dig up the past, but in order to make a difference, in order to stop this ongoing cycle, talking about it and educating the public on it, that's the first step in making a difference," she said.
Regardless, Smart doesn't let her past define her today.
"I'm 24 years old, my kidnapping was only 9 months, that means I have 23 plus years of a wonderful life and that just outweighs my kidnapping so much that there's no need to dwell on it every single day."