A woman who had been a victim of r*pe and the man who s*xually assaulted her, have shared the same stage to talk about their experience.
The woman and the man who r*ped her
In a remarkable story of forgiveness and bravery, a woman who was raped has shared a stage with the man who r*ped her, Metro UK reports.
Thordis Elva was just a teenager when she started a relationship with Tom Stranger, an exchange student visiting Iceland from Australia, in 1996.
She said: ‘It was like a fairy tale, his strong arms around me, laying me in the safety of my bed.
But then ‘he proceeded to take off my clothes and get on top of me. My head had cleared up, but my body was still too weak to fight back, and the pain was blinding. I thought I’d been severed in two.
‘In order to stay sane, I silently counted the seconds on my alarm clock. And ever since that night, I’ve known that there are 7,200 seconds in two hours.’
He said that he didn’t consider it to have been rape – it didn’t enter his mind. He knew he had done something wrong, but considered it to be s*x.
He said: ‘To be honest, I repudiated the entire act in the days afterwards and when I was committing it. I disavowed the truth by convincing myself it was sex and not rape. And this is a lie I’ve felt spine-bending guilt for.’
Sixteen years after the rape, they were reunited in South Africa – half way between their home countries.
Thordis said that she found that ‘light had triumphed after darkness’ adding: ‘there is hope after rape’.
Tom returned to Australia, but nine years later Thordis wrote to him and eight years later they reunited to host a Ted talk about their experience.
Watch the video below: