Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart to speak in Rockford

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Elizabeth Smart signs books and talks with members of the audience after giving a speech at Lock Haven University, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Lock Haven, Pa. (Sarah Smeltz/The Express via AP)

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The YWCA of Northwestern Illinois announced that Elizabeth Smart would be the keynote speaker at the Women of Achievement Awards ceremony next year.

When she was a child in 2002, Smart was abducted and held captive for nine months, before she was rescued by police.

Smart is now an advocate for children in child abduction and recovery programs. She also helped promote the national Amber Alert system and other safety initiatives.

Organizers of the event say Smart will forward their mission to empower women.

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