Brave kidnap victim raped as teen says sex with husband not affected by captor

A woman who was kidnapped as a teenager and raped by her captor has bravely told followers how she now views sex.

Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Ohio, the US, in 2002 aged just 14.

Religious fanatic Brian Mitchell took her to a mountain encampment and raped her every day for nine months.

Elizabeth eventually persuaded Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee to travel from California to Utah, where she was spotted by a member of the public.

Mitchell was jailed for life following a six-week trial in 2010, while Barzee was sentenced to 15 years in prison and released in September 2018.

Elizabeth, now 33, is a happily married to Matthew Gilmour and is a mum of three.

She recently discussed her approach to sex in a brave Instagram post.

Elizabeth said a common question she receives is: “How are you able to have sex after experiencing so much rape and sexual trauma?”

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She went on to write: “Sex is entered into by choice (also known as “enthusiastic consent”) and is based off a relationship built off of trust and mutual love.

“Sex is more than just a physical act it’s about love, connection, and pleasure.

“Rape is forced, coerced, manipulative, and often violent.

“Rape not only is often physically painful but is emotionally and spiritually painful and devastating.”

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After surviving the horrifying ordeal, Elizabeth has devoted her life to campaigning against child abductions.

She met her her husband on a Mormon mission trip to Paris in 2009, and the pain got married three years later.

Days after she was rescued, Elizabeth recounted a lesson from her mum.

She said: “The best punishment you could ever give him is to be happy, to move forward with your life and to do what you want to do.

“By feeling sorry for yourself and by holding on to what’s happened to you that’s only allowing him to steal more of your life away from you, and he doesn’t deserve another second.”

Last week, Elizabeth announced a new YouTube series in which she would answer videos from the public, the MailOnline reported.

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She said: “There's no shame in asking for help. If I'm talking about something that's triggering — turn it off. Just close out, it's fine.

“You won't offend me by doing that because taking care of yourself and respecting your own boundaries is really important.

“I imagine that sometimes I will talk about what it's like to be a survivor, or how my rape affected me, or how my rape has affected my intimate life as a married adult. If you find something triggering, just stop.”

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