As you’ve probably heard thanks to local news coverage, Elizabeth Smart has been in town for the 23rd Crimes Against Children Conference at the Sheraton Dallas. Put on by the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and the Dallas Police Department, the gathering was limited to only professionals in the field.
She was scheduled to give the keynote address at 8:15 a.m. Monday, but that had to be pushed to 8:50 a.m. because of the crowds still trying to get in. Since the Sheraton’s parking garage and valet were at capacity by 7:30 a.m., the throngs were forced to learn about the parking challenges of downtown Dallas.
But Elizabeth’s involvement and advocacy were not limited to the breakfast. Accompanied by her father Ed Smart, she visited the current DCAC facility and learned about plans for the new one and its groundbreaking in the fall. Elizabeth was v-e-r-y impressed with DCAC’s model in handling children who have been victimized. She recalled the procedures she experienced following her captivity by then-49-year-old Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee. She was interviewed by two 50-year-old male forensic interviewers. Elizabeth admitted that at that point in her ordeal the last thing she wanted was to be questioned by middle-aged men.
But Elizabeth, who has recently joined ABC News as a contributor regarding missing children, and her dad are very typical of most fathers and daughters. At one point she told how her father wished that instead of playing the harp, she had studied the piccolo. Why? Because Ed was the one who ended up schlepping the harp around to recitals and appearances.
After being in Dallas for three days of visiting, advocating and meeting with locals, Elizabeth was asked what she would like to do. Her answer — go shopping at NorthPark.