This post was provided by guest blog contributor, Suzy Imel.
Many of us remember the tragic abduction in 2002 of Elizabeth Smart – the beautiful fourteen-year-old girl abducted from her home by a pedophile and held captive by him and his wife for almost a year. Smart’s book, My Story, was released in 2013, followed by an A&E documentary and a Lifetime movie based on her experience. Smart recently discussed on a national tv show, why it was that she didn’t escape or speak out to strangers sooner, during her captivity.
The answer quite simply came down to survival. Her captors threatened to kill her if she tried to escape. So she didn’t. It is hard for most of us to understand something we will never experience. So the best we can do is to learn from the victims themselves.
Smart discussed the importance of sensitivity in dealing with victims who have survived such a horrific crime, and the importance of not questioning a victim’s decision not to attempt escape.
This is good advice for all of us to remember.