Elizabeth Smart praises Penn State for conference

Elizabeth Smart speaks to reporters regarding her advocacy of child protection and the healing process she has experienced, prior to her presentation at the Child Sexual Abuse Conference, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in State College, Pa. Smart was abducted in 2002 and held prisoner for nine months before being reunited with her family. (AP Photo/Ralph Wilson)

October 30, 2012 1:26:13 PM PDT
Former kidnapping and sexual abuse victim Elizabeth Smart has praised Penn State for a conference on child sexual abuse impact and prevention in light of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Smart says the conference is an "incredible opportunity" to change not only how the university community looks at, and works with, abuse victims, but the rest of the country too.

She was the keynote speaker on the final day Tuesday of the inaugural three-day conference.

Smart was kidnapped in 2002 at age 14 and held captive for nine months. Smart says the best advice she received in her recovery is to lead a normal life as a way to punish her captor.

She's now an outspoken advocate for protecting children from abuse through prevention and education.