Womanspace will honor Elizabeth Smart for child abduction prevention efforts


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Womanspace will honor Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped in 2002 but survived and now advocates for other children who are abducted.

Smart was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Police safely returned her to her family on March 12, 2003, after being held a prisoner for 9 grueling months.

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Smart, who is now a child abduction prevention advocate, will be honored during the 26th annual Barbara Boggs Sigmund Awards’ virtual event via Zoom at 6 p.m. May 12.

Smart has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation. The founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, she has helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.

Smart 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 survivor’s guide, “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 and to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.

“I am so honored to be receiving the Barbara Boggs Sigmund Award that celebrates people who inspire us to greatness. I look forward to speaking about healing and moving past traumatic events as Womanspace clients are in the process of doing on a daily basis.  Healing is a long journey and one that can reap great rewards,” Smart said.

Lauren Nazarian, director of Development of Womanspace, is thrilled that Smart has accepted Womanspace’s honor.

“Not only has Elizabeth been through a horrifying trauma but she is using her experience to help other children and parents stay safe and learn how to focus on healing and move on to a rewarding life. This is strength personified in my eyes,” she said.

Registration is required.

Suggested donation of $100 in lieu of ticket sales can be made at https://womanspace.org/barbara-boggs-sigmund-awards-2022/. All donations over $1,000 will receive a gift basket with local wine and desserts to enjoy during the livestream.

Additionally, the silent auction held alongside the virtual event offers advertising opportunities for local businesses and corporations. Email Lauren Nazarian at lan@womanspace.org for more information.

  • This information was provided by Womanspace, which is headquartered in Lawrence Township.

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