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Wish this book would be reuired reading in our Jr High schools we need to educate our boys on what rape is and what the conseuences are for both people involved in this horrendous act I think this book opens a space to have real conversations about rape and educates us on its effects both as a victim and a perpetrator and even how those roles can reverse I love Thordis words It s about time that we stop treating sexual violence as a women s issue What is this about South of Forgiveness is well about forgiveness Thordis Elva was raped by her then boyfriend Tom Stranger when she was 16 This book chronicles their meeting in Cape Town South Africa and their attempt to find their peace and their forgivenessWhat else is this about Rape culture about date rape about the effects of it and the struggle to get past it Thordis is brutally honest in her accounts of what Tom did and how it changed her And here s what I never thought I d be typing so is TomRape is an action that is about power about a man or woman taking what they want sexually without consent It s terrifying and unforgiveableBut what South of Forgiveness has taught me is that I we have no right to udge how survivors cope with rape It s not about what we think it s about what makes it possible for them to go on every day to find peace or solace or whatever they are seeking for their sanity As their loved ones we have to let them take that The Alchemy of Opposites journey support them and love them and let them know they re safeIudged it you will tooBefore opening the book I had udged it Thordis and Tom But by the end I knew that I might never truly understand their relationship but I could not help but admire the strength of them both in putting their story out into the world Let me be clear Tom raped Thordis and this is not a defence Telling his part in the story does not diminish what he has done or absolve him of it but he is telling his story in an effort to ensure people learn from itIt took a long time for me to understand my reaction to him in this bookSouth of Forgiveness is told by Thordis and Tom in alternating chapters that chronicle their past together and their meeting in Cape Town South Africa This is about how they ourneyed towards a sense of peace between themselves and in themselves and most importantly it s their story You will ask what happened that fateful night and why he wasn t arrested and while they are touched on in the book it s not the important part of the storyAs a whole there is a big difference in the way Thordis and Tom write for she is an accomplished author in Iceland Her chapters are filled with the details of the world around them in Cape Town of Tom physically and her noticing a group of men watching her intently in Cape Town Tom s chapters are turned inward to where his grief and self loathing exist in an effort to make his peace with it in a way something Thordis does want for him But both are essential to understanding their storyCape TownSouth Africa is called the Rape Capital of the World so it is ironic or apt that they find themselves there in an effort to find peace and reconciliation between themselves When the book opens it s been eight years of emails before they decide to make this trip and both are filled with trepidation Thordis describes her fiance s reservations and her parents but also their support Tom is a nomad of sorts and he is already there in Cape Town when she arrivesTheir meeting is strained and the book follows them as they wander through the city telling each other of life before they met and life after Thordis traces her failed relationships and her decisions back to Tom and his raping her while Tom does the same Her story looms large for me as I think she is a remarkable strong woman and not to mention Woman of the Year in Iceland in 2015 While Tom s story seems lesser within the chapters in the book it isn t I m not uite sure how to talk about him but I focus on the fact that Thordis forgives himTom does not know why he raped her He couldn t really acknowledge what he did do to her for a long time He is anchorless in the book looking for something forgiveness before he can make himself stop and allow himself a life and someone else to love It s clear he wants to give Thordis whatever she needs from him in their conversations but it is harder still for him to acknowledge that she doesn t need the pedestal he s placed her on as the person who was wronged int heir relationshipHow do you forgiveSouth Africa is the country in which I was born and lived until I was 18 South Africa is also a country whose history is steeped in ineuality and apartheid and the country bears its wounds in their society and culture and their art and writing It s ironic to read of Thordis caution and her noticing the men in Cape Town staring at her while she is in Cape Town with the man she knew that raped her This history is interspersed in their travels in Cape Town until it comes to a head in Robben Island the prison where Nelson Mandela lived for 27 years On a tour there it emerges their guide is a former prisoner tortured and imprisoned for 7 years there They ask him if he could forgive his Stand and Deliver: Political Activism, Leadership, and Hip Hop Culture jailors and his answer is simple Yes Because that s how you move forwardUntil this point I have never been able to understand how Mandela or any prisoner could forgive but in that moment reading that line I didTheirourneyWith the agreement to share their story and their situation there is nowhere for Thordis or Tom to hide within the pages of this book As a result the writing here is brutally honest for to be any less would be a disservice to each other These chapters are stark and uncompromising each relating how difficult it is to meet and how nervous they are This The Wrong Complexion for Protection journey and their relationship through emails isn t aourney without fights and arguments but it s also clear how hard they attempt to make this work for both their sakesSlowly as the book progresses there s a certain ease that creeps into the chapters as they pass each milestone for instance like Thordis noticing their knees touching in a bus or Tom sharing that he told his parents and their reactions As a result there is an overwhelming sense of progress of a long ourney that is on it s way to an ending of sorts for both of them It charts how their writing evolves from chapters filled with tension to one that are fragile almost for by the time they leave they are these new different beings heading out into the world Without The Rape Hanging Out About Their the rape hanging out about their They do not let it define them any and the choice to go public to teach others of their experiences is them both taking their control back from that nightTom Stranger raped Thordis Elva There is no changing that fact or the horror you may Find At Feeling Yourself Understand This Man Or You May at feeling yourself understand this man or you may him that s fine too But Thordis and he are standing on the world s stage telling their story and if someone anyone learns something positive from it learns to change I think it s a story worth telling and we d have both of them to thank for that. Nger to violence and the healing power of forgiveness South of Forgiveness is an unprecedented collaboration between a survivor and a perpetrator each eually committed to exploring the darkest moment of their lives It is a true story about being bent but not broken of facing fear with courage and of finding hope even in the most wounded of plac. .

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South of ForgivenessSomewhere between 3 and 4 stars It is hard to rate a book like this one Excellent book well written brave and truthful This book is a breakthrough with a lot of wit and beauty as well as raw pain This book had a lot of potential It s premise was uite uniue rape perpetrator and survivor engage in years of correspondence over the crime and then meet in person again to try and come to a point of forgivenessUnfortunately the writing style got in the way It veered into purple prose too many times and I hate to say it melodrama I hesitate using that word because it seems to belittle the horrific experience the survivor went through That s not my intention I ust felt that she could have expressed herself in a matter of fact way which would have been ust as if not powerful And I hate to say this but Thordis comes across to me at least as deeply unlikeable The purpose of this book isn t to like either of them I know but as a reader I needed to feel connected with the main author and that ust wasn t there Her anger and outrage is there and it s understandable But it seeps out in all sorts of ways My guess is her life experiences have hardened her again understandable but a few things irked me Tom s vegetarianism and her lack of understanding or support for it was irritating Firstly doing the typical carnist thing of trying to catch him out or implying he is a hypocrite This is in reference to his shoes which she assumes are leather Then her goading of him to eat some of the pig skin on her plate That was disrespectful and inappropriateBut all this aside the best thing about this book is the effort Thordis went through to make Tom see what he did was wrong and why Male privilege and sense of entitlement are a toxic pairing He could have easily gone through his life not giving a second thought to what he had done as being wrong in any way But she was not going to remain silent on it any and that took a lot of strength and courage Date rape and being violated by someone you cared for is insidious Thordis and Tom s story is an important one I Children of the Sun just wish it was delivered better I hear Thordis and Tom in a TED radio hour on Forgiveness and I am currently in training to be a volunteer on my local rape crisis center phone hotline The topic resonated obviously and I thought this might be a good book to pick up I am also thinking alot about restorativeustice and Thordis s approach to Tom is uniue in that she is less vindictive than one would expect and open to discussion rather than punishmentThe book does a great Approaches To Academic Reading And Writing job of explaining their complex relationship both at the time of the 1996 attack and during their reunion in 2000 I think it highlights a lot of the intricacies faced by survivor and attacker when they share mutual friends and acuaintances and are faced with each other into the future Learning that over 90% of survivors know their attackers the reality of having to face each other is very real and the honesty with which Thordis presents her own rationale and behavior in 2000 is illuminating It makes perfect sense that her reaction to him 4 years later could be one in which she attempts to lash out at him and take back some of the control I found myself wondering about whether we should consider her the sexual attacker in some of these later scenes as she used her attractiveness to hurt him Clearly the violence and pain she inflicted on him was less than he had inflicted on her but the scenes do not exactly glow with mutual consentUltimately though this is a book about finding forgiveness and ability to move forward Thordis and Tom go to great lengths to explore notust the events of that horrible night in 1996 and the summer of 2000 but the ways in which those events reverberated throughout both of their lives The difference between Thordis s experience of having something done to her and Tom s experience of continually doing something to himself is accentuated several times most poignantly I thought when Thordis expresses her frustration with his self pity I clench my aw in discontent There s a fine line between feeling sorry for having made a mistake and feeling sorry for yourself of having made a mistake In my opinion Tom crossed this line a few times in a our correspondence which left me feeling pressured to take pity on him for being the horrible
"Unworthy Failure Of A Person "
failure of a person felt he was Not only have I always found it ridiculous and out of place for me to pity Tom but I also believe that if people settle into the idea that they re beyond salvation it hinders them from doing the idea that they re beyond salvation it hinders them from doing things with their livesThordis is an amazing survivor who has done incredible work in this field her ability to face her own demons and be willing to help Tom face his is remarkable I think it also provides a great blue print for thinking about ways to continue to grow restorative ustice programs not when the survivors are unwilling but as a way to move towards greater understanding and healing in societyShe also puts the rape in the context of rape culture and misogynistic value multiple times most clearly here But you raped me because I m a girl a girl you felt entitled to Something gave you the idea that your pleasure mattered than my consent even if I was too sick to consent to anything I don t know why Tom But I believe it has something to do with the fact that men have power and influence on all levels of society and that s how it s been for centuries Perhaps this archaic tradition has caused people to adapt to the notion that men are simply important that women Perhaps that s why you felt that you and your lust mattered than me that night From what I know you re what most people would call a normal guy which is why I believe this incident to be part of a much bigger picture where women have less value than men Overall it is a very important book that addresses a topic on which society needs to change Talking about pointing fingers at and understanding the subtle ways in which we socialize boys and girls will help change the rape culture in which we live This is a very complicated emotionally charged book that will make you feel incredibly uncomfortable in a lot of different waysIt s a bizarre emotionally charged book that will make you feel incredibly uncomfortable in a lot of different waysIt s a bizarre I totally understand the idea of wanting to confront this person and meet and find a way to put it behind you But flying to South Africa a place very far from both of you to do it Spending a week doing it But then everyone approaches things in their own way Who are we to decide what fits someone s forgiveness someone else s redemption This book and the authors talks have gotten a lot of controversy But I ll say this I don t agree with any of it First of all no one not rapists not murderers are as bad as the worst thing they have ever done And every survivor of violence is entitled to find their own way including Thordis If this is what works for her who are we to Witch-Hunt Narrative judge I also strongly agree with everything Thordis says in defense of the project The way the world talks about rape the focus is on the survivors which forgets the why rape. A woman a man a rape and a hardourney from violence to reconciliationOne ordinary spring morning in Reykjavik Thordis Elva kisses her son and partner goodbye before boarding a plane to do an extraordinary thing fly seven thousand miles south to meet up with the man who raped her when she was My Hero Academia Series Volume 1 - 20 Books Collection Set by Kouhei Horikoshi just sixteenMeanwhile in Sydney Australia Tom Stran. Exists ie rapists Rape survivors cannot prevent rape Only rapists can prevent rape So it s time we stop treating sexual violence as a women s issue Rapists are predominantly men Why doesn t that make it a men s issue Further blindly condemning for the rest of their life a rapist as nothing or less than a rapist is so futile If we refuse to allow them to come out and admit it and allow them to take responsibility and make amends how can we as a society ever hope to change the fact that rape happens If all men refuse to talk about rape if women are the only ones talking about it then we are left with this Many men don t even understand that they ve raped someone So they need to start talking To own up To put themselves on display the way many victims do To talk to each other about it as women talk about sexual assault among themselves Another thing You go into this book assuming you will sympathize with Thordis and hate Tom You do both in part but their respective roles as rapist and survivor do not dominate over the fact that they are both people I was surprised to find that on a personal level I liked Tom a lot than I liked Thordis Though to be honest I can t say I liked either of them deeply Tom was occasionally selfish in what he wanted his comment that he hopes the trip will end all communication between them considering Thordis plainly has come to depend on their emails and has a lot of complicated feelings towards their constant communication and frankly I think she loves him a bit didn t need to be said Then Thordis isust painfully petty at times She 100% has the right to be angry at him for raping her But the level of unrelated pettiness she gets to at times is Alcohol Addiction Recovery just staggering and irritating Also she s deeplyudgmental of people in general And sanctimonious And very fond of muttering nasty little comments in her head On the other hand even if I don t personally like them I admire and respect them both Yes even the rapist Everyone is than the worst thing they ve ever done Both Thordis and Tom embarked on this incredible project to confront themselves their own vulnerabilities their dark complicated history and come out the other side And try to share their story with other survivors and rapists to open dialogue up And the ending is very rich and satisfying And I definitely had better feelings toward both of them by the end than I did at the beginningLot of complicated feelings in this book basically One of the most remarkable books I ve ever read co authored by a rape victim and her rapist though both object to those labels and in particular to being defined by themI first heard about this book on the car radio on Woman s Hour with both of them appearing together on it to tell their story I was so gripped that when I got home I stayed in the car to hear it to the endThey met in Iceland when Thordis Elva was 16 and Tom Stranger an Australian was 18 After becoming boyfriend and girlfriend he subjected her to a brutal two hour rape when she was insensible with drink He then returned to Australia and both their lives then went off the rails before 9 years later she emailed him out of the blue and confronted him with what he d done Instead of denying it or ignoring her as she d expected he immediately replied acknowledging his crime An eight year email exchange followed which culminated in them agreeing to meet half way between Iceland and Australia in Cape Town for a week to try and resolve face to face the final issues which they had been unable to do in writing The book is the story of that weekAs a concept for a book it s mind boggling but the delivery doesn t disappoint "either I was completely gripped could hardly put it down and read it in a couple " I was completely gripped could hardly put it down and read it in a couple days It s an emotional rollercoaster and several times I found myself welling up while reading it but it s also astonishingly elouent particularly given that the main author is not a native English speakerWhat I Find Astonishing Is That The astonishing is that the has proven controversial with some people objecting to a rapist being given publicity or a platform to speak in public How these people think that a better understanding of what causes men to rape isn t going to ultimately lead to it being less prevalent is a mystery to me but I guess that some people are interested in simple answers than in real solutionsAn excellent book If you have any doubts watch the co authors TED talk on YouTube How do you go from hatred for someone else as well as for yourself to forgiveness and even some kind of friendship This is a well written moving story It teaches so much About rape its conseuences and its context about guilt and mostly it reminded me how strong humans are I felt for both those souls My ViewAn account of real life experience a memoir of sorts is hard to review where do you start How do you give a star rating And that difficulty is increased when the subject matter is so personal and yet also concerns women and men all over the world These things I pondered for a while before I sat down and wrote my review This is my personal opinionFirstly I have to mention how very courageous I think both parties are exposing their innermost thoughts and feelings to public scrutiny Rape is an act of violence that is often very difficult to discuss there are so many emotions surrounding the act and its aftermath hurt anger fear confusion disgust misguided feelings of self blame that make this topic very controversial and difficult to speak about Not many will speak out and until do the silence will continue suffocate this very REAL ISSUE BRAVO TO BOTH AUTHORS FOR SHARING THEIR issue Bravo to both authors for sharing their I hope it generates lots of discussion and creates safe spaces where others can share their experiences For me this is not ust a story of rape it is a powerful story of reconciliation and forgiveness It is obvious to me that Thordis Elva has spent a lot of time working on her own mental health and that she is in a very positive and secure place Tom StrangerI think has a way to go on this ourney or maybe that is Beating the Odds - From shocking childhood abuse to the embrace of a loving family, one mans true story of courage and redemption just the opinion I formed because most of the dialogue in the book belongs to Thordis Elva Tom Stranger seem to be a bit player in this narrative If you are looking for a voyeuristic account of a degrading act of violence then you have picked up the wrong book The act itself is not the main character the process of finding forgiveness is This act of forgiveness I find so alien to my way of looking at the world of dealing with hurtbut it is evident from this account and others for example of victims of crime and perpetrators meeting and reconciling that for some this process is healing Bravo again Thordis ElvaIf you want a very personal almost clinical very rational account of one woman s powerfulourney in life then this book is for you This was a hard book for me to read Lets be honest people don t like to talk about rape and the rape culture that we live in today I feel like Thordis and Tom did an amazing Climax (Double Alchemy, job at telling their story it was raw real honest and even spiritual It was actually healing for me Ger nervously embarks on an eually life changingourney wondering whether he is worthy of this meetingAfter exchanging hundreds of searingly honest emails over eight years Thordis and Tom decided it was time to speak face to face Coming from opposite sides of the globe they meet in the middle in Cape Town South Africa a country that is no stra.