By: Abby Walton | WCTV Eyewitness News
January 22, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Elizabeth Smart is using her voice to shine a light on those who are missing.
Smart knows first-hand what these men and women are going through.
In 2002, at just 14-years old, she was kidnapped from her home and held captive for nine months before being rescued.
15 years since her rescue, Smart is now a child safety advocate, taking on issues such as victim’s rights and human trafficking.
On Monday, she made a stop in Tallahassee. Scent Evidence K-9 and Liberty Partners of Tallahassee, LLC. helped bring her to the capitol.
Smart’s trip to Tallahassee coincides with Florida Children's Week. Her purpose in coming to town: meeting with legislators to share her story.
One of her powerful messages is that when it comes to missing people or victims of human trafficking, if you see something that feels off, you need to speak up.
“Looking for changes in your community, looking for changes in your neighbors or people that you know. Looking for oddities, things that don't seem quite right and then if you do see something report it,” Smart said.
Smart also stressed the importance of supporting the victims. She said only the victim knows what that situation was like.
They do not need someone speculating on how they would have handled it. She said that only re-victimizes the survivor.
Smart also said since her abduction, law enforcement has come a long way in creating new tools to help find missing people.
One such tool, a new type of scent detection kit from Tallahassee-based company, Scent Evidence K-9.
Coming up in February, our Abby Walton will have more about this kit, its founders and how it's helping people across the country.