Elizabeth Smart lists ‘big differences’ in rape and intimate sex with husband Matthew Gilmour in YouTube series

Elizabeth Smart, now 33, was kidnapped from her bed at knifepoint when she was just 14 years old. She was subsequently held captive for nine months by Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee and was ultimately rescued and returned to her parents


                            Elizabeth Smart lists ‘big differences’ in rape and intimate sex with husband Matthew Gilmour in YouTube series
Elizabeth Smart (L) and Matthew Gilmour attend the 43rd Annual Gracie Awards at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on May 22, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California (Getty Images)

A victim of kidnapping and rape has explained how she is able to engage in physical intimacy with her husband after having been repeatedly sexually assaulted by her abductor as a teenager.

Elizabeth Smart, now 33, was kidnapped from her bed at knifepoint when she was just 14 years old. She was subsequently held captive for nine months by Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. She was ultimately rescued and returned to her parents, the Daily Mail reported.

RELATED ARTICLES

Why did Elizabeth Smart choose not to tell her parents about the kidnapping, rape, and abuse?

What is Elizabeth Smart's net worth? Rape and abduction survivor fought all odds to sell out books and help others

Smart, a married mother-of-three, revealed that she is often asked how she is able to have sex after "experiencing so much rape and sexual trauma." Now an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, Smart highlighted the "big differences" that she saw between sex and rape, which allowed her to be intimate with her husband, Matthew Gilmour.

Smart said she is able to separate rape from sex with her husband because "sex is entered into by choice (also known as enthusiastic consent) and is based on a relationship built off of trust and mutual love."

She drew the contrast from what she underwent at the hands of David Mitchell, who reportedly "performed a mock wedding ceremony after taking her into the woods" and proceeded to "tie her up with steel cables in a dugout filled with mice and spiders." Smart testified in 2009 how she was forced to take drugs, drink alcohol, and was raped daily, as often as four times a day, according to the newspaper.

Narrator/producer Elizabeth Smart of 'I Am Elizabeth Smart' speaks onstage during the Lifetime and A+E portion of the 2017 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 28, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

Another difference, she noted, was that "sex is more than just a physical act. It’s about love, connection, and pleasure," while "rape is forced, coerced, manipulative, and often violent."

Thirdly, Smart said that "rape not only is often physically painful but is emotionally and spiritually painful and devastating." In her book 'My Story', Smart recounted that after the first time she was raped, she wondered whether Mitchell had damaged her and whether her family would even want her back.

And while she considers the above to be the "big differences" for her, she says her list is "by no means comprehensive." "It takes me a while to articulate everything I think and feel," she added.

According to the Daily Mail, Smart and Gilmour first met during a Mormon mission trip to Paris in 2009. The pair went on to get married in February 2012 in Hawaii. They have three children together, Chloe, James, and Olivia.

Brian David Mitchell, former homeless street preacher and kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart, enters the courtroom for his arraignment before Third District judge Judith Atherton on September 2, 2004, at the Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Getty Images)

Following her ordeal, Smart became an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, a public speaker, and an author. Recently, she announced an all-new YouTube series in which she would take questions from the public.

Smart offered some background on her story in her first video. She added a disclaimer as well. "I am not a therapist, I am not a counselor. Anything that I share will be my own personal opinions and my own personal journey," she said. "Keep in mind, if you're struggling, don't be afraid of reaching out to a professional for help," she continued. "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."

Smart added: "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."

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514