A woman who was abducted when she was a child has revealed how she struggled to accept she needed help to handle the trauma of the incident.
Elizabeth Smart was just 14 when she was taken from her Utah home on June 2, 2002.
She was forced to hike for 3 to 5 hours with a knife to her throat as her captor, Brian David Mitchell lead her to a campsite where she would be raped by him and his wife.
According to CNN, the teenager was sexually assaulted "daily at the very least" and tethered between two trees "like an animal" as she was kept from her family for months, until she was found by authorities in March 2003.
The twisted couple believed they were sent by God to bring the defenceless young girl into a 'polyamorous' marriage – when in fact they were becoming kidnappers in one of the worlds most high profile abduction cases.
Now, 33-year-old Elizabeth is an American child safety activist and commentator for ABC News.
Taking to Instagram for World Mental Health Day 2021, she shared her struggle to accept the seriousness of her trauma and urged others to seek help no matter how hard it is to accept you need it.
She wrote: "After I was rescued from my captors I didn’t want to see a therapist or a counsellor or a doctor. My parents were incredibly worried about me and sought guidance themselves.
"They were told the best thing they could do was to take care of themselves so they could be in a place to help me when I was ready to start talking and processing my emotions.
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"I feel like this advice is monumental! And is a perfect reason for everyone to take their mental/emotional/physical health seriously!
"There will come a day when someone turns to you for help, and if you haven’t been taking care of yourself and your health you may not be in a position to help others when they truly need it.
"Don’t give up, keep trying, and believe in miracles."
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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