SALT LAKE CITY - For the first time, Elizabeth Smart is speaking out about thoughts of suicide while she was held captive.
From June, 2002 to March, 2003 Smart was held against her will and sexually tortured by her captor and his wife.
Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee were arrested in March 2003 after police found and rescued Smart.
Now Smart is a spokesperson for sexual assault survivors and shines light on missing children’s cases and child sex crimes.
Since May of 2016 she serves as a special correspondent for Crime Watch Daily, which airs at 2:00 p.m. on FOX13. On Tuesday, as she was interviewing a sexual assault victim about her experience, Smart revealed some new details about her own personal kidnapping experience.
“The first time I was raped, I just remember feeling devastated, I felt like it would be better to be dead than to continue being a rape survivor,” Smart said to the victim she was interviewing. “I mean, I felt in that moment, if there had been an easy way out, I probably would have taken it.”
Later in the program she spoke to the show’s host Chris Hansen.
“I don't think there is a single victim out there who hasn't considered suicide at one point or another, because what they’re going through is so terrible, they want relief, they want freedom.”
Smart said she is also open with her family about how to protect themselves.
“Education is the key to prevention,” Smart said. “Personally, I try tell my children three things every day: First, that I love them unconditionally, second, nobody has the right to hurt them no matter who they are, and thirdly, if anyone ever hurts them or makes them scared or be afraid, they need to tell me.”