National Coverage Of Elizabeth Smart’s Press Conference

Time to “Get Smart in Washington”

Elizabeth Smart held a press conference on the steps of Utah’s Capitol Building, addressing President Obama’s comments over the weekend regarding the Penn State child abuse scandal. Obama addressed that it is to be every persons “number one priority” to protect children.
Smart emphasized the importance of empowering children with education and tools that will help to protect them in dangerous situations through the radKIDS program. Smart also challenged that if the nation’s top priority is to protect children, Obama and Congress and government officials should ensure that resources for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces are fully funded. Smart also asked President Obama, Congress and government officials to declare a State of Emergency and dedicate all resources available to rescuing children who are being sexually abused, raped and exploited. In response, Smart received tremendous support from the media and fellow child safety advocates.

On many occasions the focus of these cases quickly moves from the abused child, to the protection and financial integrity and reputation of the institution or system. The continual support from society especially parents, teachers, community leaders and government officials is critical in resolving child safety issues. Giving our children the gift of safety education and empowering them to stop predators is priceless.

National Response

Elizabeth makes a passionate plea to allow schools funding for programs such as radKIDS. “I commend our president for taking a stance and ask all of America to take to heart his counsel,” Smart said. “The very best way to protect our kids is to empower them …” Read the article here.

Elizabeth makes a courageous call to action stating that Obama needs to “put his money where his mouth is,” regarding his comment about each individual making child safety their “number one priority.” Read the article here.

This scandal emphasizes the need for people to report crimes against children instead of looking the other way. “Too often, she said, people decide to ignore abused children because it’s difficult for them to understand why it has happened, or they convince themselves that somebody else will report it.” Read the article here.

Elizabeth takes action upon hearing the news of the Penn State Scandal. “It makes me feel terrible any time I hear about a child being abused,” said Smart. She calls on President Obama to declare “a national emergency” to rescue children who are victims of sexual abuse and exploitation. Read the article here.