The Elizabeth Smart Foundation has become part of the Malouf Foundation, a Logan, Utah-based 501(c)3 public charity founded by Sam and Kacie Malouf in 2016.
“I could not be more confident in this decision,” Smart said. “Together, the Malouf Foundation and the Elizabeth Smart Foundation will be a strong, unified voice both against exploitation and in support of victims and survivors.”
Smart was abducted in 2002 at age 14 from her home and held captive for nine months. During that time, she endured daily sexual assault, starvation and abuse. Thanks to public awareness surrounding her disappearance and a watchful community in her hometown of Salt Lake City, Smart was identified by a bystander and able to return home.
In the years since her kidnapping, in addition to testifying against and seeing the conviction of her captors, Smart has used her experience for good. She began the Elizabeth Smart Foundation in 2011 to bring hope and end the victimization of sexual assault and abuse through prevention, healing and advocacy.
The Malouf Foundation was founded to confront child sexual exploitation, specifically through online abuse and sex trafficking. The organization is the charity arm of the for-profit corporation Malouf.
The Maloufs and Smart got to know each other through their like-minded organizations. “Elizabeth opened my mind to a much broader perspective,” Kacie Malouf said. “Understanding what ESF was doing to educate on and prevent sexual assault and violence showed us that we could deepen our impact by addressing more of the cycle of exploitation. Elizabeth made us start thinking bigger.”