On May 2, 2013, Elizabeth Smart spoke out at a forum on human trafficking at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She addressed the issue why the three young women kidnapped in Ohio may not have spoken out or tried to escape for such a long time.
Smart said that she was raised in a religious household where abstinence was taught and valued. She remembered a school teacher who spoke once about abstinence and compared sex to chewing gum--deriding someone who permitted sexual touching over and over and evoking a sense of shame and lack of worth in a young girl who had been kidnapped, forcibly raped, and held hostage.
Smart advocates for home and school sexual education that combines abstinence with building of self-esteem. She believes that children should be taught that "you will always have value and nothing can change that." She is highly critical of abstinence-only teachers who tell girls they're worthless if they are sexually used or violated.
Young girls are often taught, either at home or at school in sex education classes about abstinence. This is a good thing, especially (but not exclusively) to protect them from HPV. Young girls should be taught that they are special, that they have worth as human beings, and that no one should be allowed to rob them of one thing so precious to each young woman: her own bodily integrity.
There are many agencies available to help women and their families to escape and/or to prevent family violence. See, for example:
Domestic violence resources ·
Tel. 415-954-9988, ext. 315 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A collection of news articles concerning domestic violence and sexual violence is found here on the website of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
If you need crisis help:
24-hour line: 888-664-8624
24-hour line: 248-334-1274
24-hour line: 734-995-5444
Detroit Police Department Rape Counseling Center and Domestic Violence
24-hour lines: 313-833-1660 or 313-833-9813
To contact Jeanne Hannah with your questions or to view her Family Law website, click here.