Victimology Research Essay, Elizabeth Smart Victimology Essay

3504 words - 15 pages

Elizabeth Smart, A Story of Abduction, Rape, and Return
Across the world and across our country, children are abused, neglected, and abducted on the daily basis. In 1982, in an effort to combat this nationwide epidemic, congress passed the Missing Children Act and later on the Missing Children Assistance Act of 1984. Both acts allowed an unprecedented computer system authorizing the FBI to collect relevant information about child abductions in the National Crime Information Center and subsequently share this information with state and local law enforcement. The acts also provide important statistics to many agencies nationally in order to raise awareness and discover trends for future prevention. These acts were a major step in the right direction; however, the problem still plagues our country. According to a NISMART-2 statistic, collecting data from the years 1997-99, about 797,500 children younger than 18 are reported missing in a one-year span; 203,900 children fall victim from family abduction; 58,200 children fall victim to nonfamily abduction; and 115 children suffer from “stereotypical kidnapping,” meaning kidnapping by a stranger who hold the child overnight, travels with the child, kills the child, etc.[footnoteRef:1]4 On June 5th, 2002, fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, joined those 115 children. [footnoteRef:2]3 [1: 4 Burgess, A. W., Regehr, C., & Roberts, A. R. (2010). Victimology: Theories and applications. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.] [2: 3 McFarland, S., & Falk, A. (2010, November 8). Transcript: The Nov. 8 testimony of Elizabeth Smart.]
Elizabeth Smart was a normal fourteen-year-old girl, living in the affluent neighborhood of Federal Heights in Salt Lake City, Utah with her five siblings and parents Edward and Lois. The family went through a normal day, attending a middle school award ceremony in the evening and returning home in time for bed. The father Edward locked the doors of the house like any other night, and did not set the alarm, citing how the alarm would go off if anyone needed to get out of bed. When everyone was asleep, Brian David Mitchel broke into the home in the early morning and entered the bedroom of Elizabeth Smart and her 9-year-old sister Mary Katherine. Mitchel then held a knife to Elizabeth’s neck, demanding “don’t make a sound, get up and come with me.” [footnoteRef:3]3 Acting out of fear and shock, Elizabeth followed Mitchel, receiving the further instructions: “If you make any sound, if you do anything that causes any attention or causes someone to come, I not only will kill you, but I will kill anyone who tries to stop me.” [footnoteRef:4]3 Mitchel proceeded to take her miles away from her home to a hidden mountainside campsite, where the two met up with Mitchell's wife, Wanda Barzee. At the camp, Wanda forced Elizabeth to strip off her pajamas in exchange for a robe. Elizabeth remained with the couple for nine months. She was raped daily by Mitchell, often multiple times in one day. At times,...

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