The people you’re seeing below are named Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger. Their relationship? It’s quite… Unusual. And it’s something that people everywhere need to witness.
See, Tom raped Thordis a while back, in 1996. And yes you read that right – Tom is Thordis’ rapist. They were in college, young and drunk and with raging hormones, whhenTogether they now travel the world, campaigning to end sexual assault, violence, and rape everywhere.
Theirs is a story of truth, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Now you may be thinking, are they seriously trying to normalize rape? Are they saying that it’s okay to rape because you’re going to be forgiven anyway? Well, far from it. In fact, the book that they published together entitled “South of Forgiveness” emphasizes that what they did is not a secret formula that should be emulated by others.
An important piece to their story is how blame progressively shifted from the Thordis, the victim, to Tom, the perpetrator of rape. Very often rape victims feel like they brought the situation all to themselves.
Their message is very simple and heartfelt: that it’s time to stop treating rape as a women’s issue, because most rape crimes are committed by men. They claim that it is important to listen to the voices on both sides of the aisle for us to better understand and appreciate why rape continues to be a huge issue and how it can be eliminated or reduced.
Listen to their highly encouraging and inspiring TED talk below!