By Elva, ThordisBy Stranger, Tom
It wasn't without fear that Thordis Elva kissed her three-year-old son and her loving partner goodbye before boarding a plane in Reykjavik, Iceland on March 27, 2013. The aim was to fly almost across the planet, meet up with the man who raped her when she was sixteen - and forgiv...e him.Meanwhile in Sydney, Australia; Thomas Stranger, nervously boarded a plane, wondering if he was worthy of this meeting. Is healing possible if you can't fathom forgiving yourself?This journey was not planned in haste. It was the careful result of a written correspondence that had lasted eight years. After covering hundreds of letters with searing honesty in a dialogue between survivor and perpetrator, they decided it was time to see each other face to face.Coming from opposite sides of the globe, their destination was literally middle ground; which happened to be South Africa, known as the rape capital of the world due to endemic levels of sexual violence. It's a country deeply scarred by apartheid, bravely seeking to heal the wounds from its past. A powerful weekly backdrop, where their lives will be permanently changed.The story is a non-fiction narrative written under full names and credentials in a unique collaboration between survivor and perpetrator equally committed to shedding light into the dark corners of humanity. It's a true story about being bent but not broken, of facing fear with courage and finding hope even in the most wounded of places.Read more
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Thordis Elva (Author) (b 1980) is known to Icelanders as a writer, journalist, public speaker and Woman of the Year 2015. Nine of her plays have been professionally produced. Her book about gender-based violence, mannamBli (The Plain Truth) was one of the most awarded Icelandic books of 2009, earning her a nomination to the Icelandic Literature Prize. In 2011, Thordis Elva founded an equality campaign that sparked a national debate, earning her a nomination to the Society Awards. In 2012, she was commissioned to reinvent the approach to violence prevention and sex education in Icelandic schools. The resulting short films 'Get Consent!' (FB-u jB!) and 'Stand Up For Yourself' (Stattu me- Ur!), have won local and international awards. Thordis Elva was elected Chairman of the Board of the Icelandic Women's Shelter 2012-2014 and has served on government committees working with the issue of violence. She is a sought-after speaker on subjects like equality, gender issues, reproductive rights and revenge porn, the last of which is the subject of her latest lecture tour. She currently resides in Stockholm, Sweden with her partner Vidir and their son. Tom Stranger (Author) is based in Sydney, Australia. He has worked in both the Youth and Outdoor Recreation Sector since completing his Bachelor of Social Science in 2002. He also holds Certificate III and IV in Youth Work and is currently in the latter stages of a Masters of Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. Outdoor and water based pursuits have been a steady and constant source of rejuvenation, and it's safe to say this will always be the case. His career path has seen him work in various sectors (Community Services, Charity, Construction, Hospitality) and he remains open to oppo
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