No longer the victim
Though the world came to know Elizabeth Smart as the girl who was kidnapped by a sex-crazed religious zealot and then found alive nearly nine months later, that need not be a lifelong label.
Smart's testimony showed her abduction and treatment "does not define her as a person; she has honor and integrity, goals and objectives and accomplishments," Erickson said. "She's something other than a victim."
That's the message that therapists and prosecutors want other women to recognize. "No matter what life circumstances are handed to you, you can rise above them," Salt Lake City Police Victim's Advocate Dianna Goodliffe said. "You can get past even really horrific things that happen to you. You can survive, you can thrive in the wake of all of it."