SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Every 68 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.  Every nine minutes, that victim is a child.  

Elizabeth Smart, a child safety activist, and John Walsh, the host/creator of America’s Most Wanted, appeared at the Malouf Foundation Summit at the Utah State Capitol Friday to advocate for the safety of America’s children.

“I’ve devoted the last 20 years of my life to working on this topic; fighting this topic and today means more than anything to me right now,” Smart said.

Smart works with the Malouf Foundation to end sex trafficking and sexual exploitation of children.

People heard from survivor leaders, influential voices and industry professionals working to make a difference at the third annual Education Summit on Friday.

The goal is to teach our community to talk about sexual violence and exploitation, and the Foundation’s hope is that communication can lead to change.

Walsh was instrumental in helping find Smart 20 years ago, and they have continued to work together and apart since then to protect children.

Walsh explained he was impressed with not only the work Smart is doing but the work the Malouf Foundation is doing as well.

“This could be a model for the nation,” said Walsh. “This city should be very proud of Elizabeth and the Malouf’s. This is a tough subject.”

“This affects everyone, everywhere and there is no community that is immune,” Smart added.

To learn more about how you can talk to children in your life about protecting themselves, visit the Malouf Foundation’s website.