In an interview with the south of forgiveness, Icelandic author Satis (Thordis Elva), what kind of true story would they tell when a sexual assault survivor and the perpetrator wrote a book together?

On the March 28, 2013, Tom sat on the sofa beside the hotel exit, looking a little helpless, Satis nervously toward him, Tom's cheeks and ears quickly crimson, "Wow, it really is you." The Satis blurted out. "It's not real, I don't know what it would be like to meet." "And so do I." They watched for a while.

Outsiders see, two people may be a long time old couple, 16 years ago, they did together until the incident happened: Tom raped Satis.

In the summer of 1996, Satis met the exchange student from Australia, Tom, who Satis 16 years old, Tom 19 years old, two young lovers, holding hands dating. After a party, Tom sent the drunken Satis home, he took off the vomit-stained dress for Satis, but Tom's hand did not stop, and then he took off her underwear.

Satis instantly in fear to understand that he was about to be trusted to hurt someone. Her mind was clear, but her body was not able to move her body, to bear the impact of the pain of Tom's hip that had been poked into her thigh, and the part of her chest to the crotch seemed to be torn apart and cut in half.

Satis wrote in the book, "The only thing I can do is count the second hand until the whole thing is finished." "Two hours, a total of 7,200 seconds." 7,200 seconds of hell. 16 years later, Tom and Satis met in South Africa, and they sat down together to backtrack on what happened that day, "Satis, please forgive me for raping you." Tom said as he wept.

From Taiwan "Fang Siqi's first love Paradise" to Iceland "the south of Forgiveness", please do not easily say forgive

"It's easy to get revenge, and it's even intuitive," he said. Over the years, I've been trying to hurt Tom as much as he hurt me. Satis at TED, 2017.

Satis wrote "The South of Forgiveness", Tom is the co-author, narrative sexual assault nine years later, two people from the communication began to dissect that night, and the night after their respective lives. The two men must be honest, honesty brings pain, but also bring healing, but this to Satis, still cannot completely purify the source of pressure caused by the incident.

She thought she must come out from behind the screen, and she must meet him. The story begins with a week-long dialogue, confess and healing in Cape Town, South Africa, where the two sides are at the centre of Iceland and Australia, Satis and Tom. This year, the story was finally translated into traditional Chinese and published in Taiwan.

Satis and Tom speaking at TED
Source|marla aufmuth/ted

Reading "The South of Forgiveness", it is hard not to recall the 2017, in the Taiwan roll up more energy than Hollywood #metoo a novel: "Fang Siqi's first love paradise."

"Fang Siqi's first Love Paradise" by the talented but not yet famous Taiwanese writer Lin Yi wrote, the story describes the 12-year-old genius of the United States girl Fang Siqi was a cram school teacher-and also her parents friend-in the process of family education in a neutral invasion. It made Fang Siqi extremely confused, miserable, and ashamed, and she found herself unable to say, saying that she was dirty. She can only remain silent, convinced herself: The teacher loves her, she is love the teacher. If you love me, it is not a rape.

This disturbing literary work relies on the reader's word of mouth on the major access charts. A few months after the publication of the novel, the author Lin Yi The death of suicide, her parents to the public, the book is not all fiction, is the author's personal experience.

Lin event in Taiwan ignited huge discussion energy, the major pathway return "Fang Siqi First Love Paradise" sold to Out of stock, appeared piracy. Acquaintances sexually abused the issue of the face, survivors gradually break the silence appeared. The wounds that have been hidden are beginning to light up, and Taiwan's society is bursting with immense amounts of traumatic emotion. Long before Hollywood #METOO, survivors had begun to tell the story of the island on the other side of the Pacific.

How far is the distance between "no more suffering" and "seeing Hope"?

"Fang Siqi's first love Paradise" author Lin, who was interviewed by women, she said Beated, impressive: "I hate to think that everything can be reconciled, I hate forgiveness, very much." Many things can not be reborn, dead people are dead. 」

Lin words are still ringing. At the moment, I turned to the Chinese version of "Forgive the South", one side to Iceland to dial an interview phone. The book reads: A Journey of reconciliation between responsibility and forgiveness. I thought: "What" reconciliation and forgiveness? It's important to be clear about the word. For such a complicated writing sequence, it is really difficult. Writing this book is more difficult and requires amazing honesty, courage, and empowering energy to confront the challenges of the writing process or publication.

After the Skype rang, it was finally connected. Even after seeing the pictures of Lisa Diz, I was amazed at the beautiful faces that appeared on the side of the screen. She sat at the window, bathed in the sun, with a white, thick knit sweater and blond hair that shone all over her, and she greeted me with vigour and warmth, shining brightly in her eyes. differs from the stereotype that society imposes on sexual assault "victims".

I was almost ashamed to tell her the Chinese title of "The South of Forgiveness" (South of forgivness), meaning "The difficulty of forgiveness" in pronunciation and righteousness. "Your book does talk about the concept of forgiveness and how difficult it is to execute." "Breaking the ice from the Chinese title, I talk about the recent Lin of the Taiwan context and the 2017 incident, and throw more difficult questions."

Lin said she was difficult to accept people talking about sexual assault, reconciliation and forgiveness. And your handwriting from the "Forgiveness" from the heart, you think forgiveness will help the sexual assault wound healing? 」

At the end of the screen, Satis silent for a moment, unhurriedly, "No, this is my way, forgiveness is not the only solution." 」

"Forgiveness is the ultimate defense mechanism for me."

I am outraged that the way of forgiveness has long been dominated by religion and transformed into a hypocritical concept by those guard. a lot of painstaking design nonsense . My forgiveness is not selfless, no sacrifice, much less heroic, no intention to swallow. My forgiveness was white-hot on the grindstone, to cut off all fetters, and if it could be put down completely, it would be of great help to my condition. This is the ultimate manifestation of self-defense .
--"The South of Forgiveness," page 52.

"To me, forgiveness isn't really for each other, just the opposite, forgiveness is given to yourself (forgiveness is isn't for the perpetrator, it's for the survivor.). She said slowly, with a gentle tone. "Many people have a lot of anger and no understanding when I talk about forgiveness," he said. My forgiveness has nothing to do with the people who committed the atrocities. 」

After the sexual assault, Satis silently endure the humiliation and blame of dating rape for 9 years, she tried to ignore pain, whitewash-she became a brilliant journalist and playwright. However, her life has been seriously out of control: eating disorders, alcoholism, self-inflicted impulses are becoming more and more serious.

Satis recalls that one day at the age of 25, she and her boyfriend had a big fight, "I rushed out of the room, drove aimlessly, and passed a café on the way." I opened my notebook in the café and scribble, and suddenly, Tom's name appeared, and I was very surprised, after all, that Tom was not my date. "Speaking of this, Satis not forget to open his own jokes."

"The subconscious may be bringing out the root of the problem. I think I must begin to face up to the sexual assault of the years ago, burying years of trauma that is asking my attention. 」

She decided to write a letter to the perpetrator. The messy drafts appear in a line: "I want to seek forgiveness for you." 」

Forgive? Once again she was puzzled by the subconscious, and began to imagine that this might be the key to opening a cage. "I decided to tell Tom that what you did was wrong and that it brought me a lot of pain and suffering, and I refused to live with those feelings." 」

Forgiveness, contrary to denial or neglect of painful experiences, "my forgiveness is to focus on the wound," forgive your emotions and see how sore and angry you are.

Anger is also the only way to heal, "it will help you put responsibility on the perpetrator and reduce your own censure." But she slowly found that anger could devour her all. "As a mother, a wife, a creative person, I don't want anger to occupy all the emotional space, I want to feel something else, I have to let go of anger." 」

She said, forgive, is her gift to herself, the letter to Tom's action is also, "I take back the autonomy of life attempt, hope to find peace of mind." "Satis added.

Source|thordis Elva Photographer|oli Hardar

Unexpectedly, two or three days after the letter was mailed, Tom replied quickly. On the other side of the Earth, Tom has long been trapped in the 噤 and silent Cage. Tom wrote in the letter: "However, it doesn't matter how I am, as long as there is anything I can do or help you do, I will be duty-bound." The question is, where do we start? Please let me know. 」

When the justice system fails, I must practise my justice.

"However, I must add," Satis, "that this communication is because I have a strong desire for justice, and since the justice system cannot solve my problems, I must do it myself." 」

In the 1996 of sexual assault, the Icelandic legal definition of sexual assault was stupid: "Anyone who uses violence, threatens to use violence or other illegal coercion to force others to have sex with it commits rape." "At that time, the Icelandic law had a great chance of determining that Tom had not used violence in the process, that Satis did not rebel, that it did not constitute a rape case, not to mention that they were lovers."

"It is very unfair to all those who are handicapped or who are unable to resist sexual assault, who do not have the protection of the law." "How absurd, Satis seldom frown.

On the other hand, Tom, an exchange student from Australia, will return home to Australia at the end of the semester, "You must imagine that I would hardly see him again in the age of no social media." The person who hurt me, can leave here without any responsibility. All responsibility falls to the victim. 」

"Like all women in the world, we are taught to scream loudly, to attack each other's eyes or groin," she said. Avoid going to the dimly lit areas, not letting the drinks out of sight, drinking without being drunk, and not being too exposed. "She paused, and we sighed at the same time.

In Iceland, Taiwan, people speak the same patriarchal discourse in different languages: "The duty to prevent sexual assault is your own." In the end, however, all these teachings and codes are not going to help us. Because the only person who can stop the sexual assault is the perpetrator.

"The vast majority of sexual assaults occur in the privacy of our home, the perpetrator or the person we trust: a relative, a friend, or a partner." The same is true in Taiwan. According to the statistics of the Modern Women's Fund, 251 cases of sexual assault in 2016 years, nearly 28% of the victims were college students or graduate students, of whom "dating sexual assault" cases were nearly 30%.

I've had enough of this unreal fictional story. When I was 16 years old, I was aware of sexual assault, the mental pervert in my hand waving a knife and doing things in the dark Lane: I was brainwashed by TV dramas to not question this stereotype. I had to wait until the stereotype shattered to see that I had been raped, and the rapist was far away on the other side of the Earth, and my only choice was to endure grief. Forbearance is a price to pay.
--"The South of Forgiveness," page 32.

Society, which requires women to protect themselves, shifts the responsibility of rape to the victims. "As a result, victims often choose to be silenced and imprisoned in a shameful cage in order not to be blamed," he said. Satis smiled helplessly, "my experience is similar to other sexually abused survivors, very cliche." 」

Everyone has the right to find peace in their own way.

Because whether he is worth my forgiveness or not, I should be calm. I did it for myself.
--"The South of Forgiveness," page 52.

After years of research and interviews on sexual assault issues, Satis has seen and heard stories so much that everyone is in a different situation. In some cases, survivors know that the perpetrator is no longer in the world and is beginning to feel peaceful. There are also situations in which the survivors are calmed by the decision to never forgive the perpetrator.

Her way is just one of them. But most people in the face of sexual assault cases are often too eager to find Jie Fang, thinking that Satis's book proves that "forgiveness" is a workable formula that can be applied to any traumatic treatment of sexual assault.

"I just have to find my inner justice and let Tom take responsibility, so I can stop blaming myself and forgive myself." "It is her way and right that no one can stop her, including the family.

When Satis told her parents that she and Tom had decided to fly from their current home to the South African capital Cape Town for a eight-day meeting, her father was in a terrible fight with her.

The fear of the father also reflects a general social concern for survivors: The survivors ' quest for solutions to their plight may be reversed to inflict a two-degree injury. The starting point is protection, but it also pulls survivors back to a state of inability to self-determination and need to be feared.

"How can you be sure that this absurd idea can accomplish anything?" This is likely to be the starting point for other things! "The distress in the father's voice makes it sound more like a threat."
Between me and my father is the next chapter in my belief in my life that I will no longer be a victim.
--"The South of Forgiveness," page 31.

I'm going to have to finish my own victim's identity.

"Rapists/victims" of the two-dollar label and naming, not just a group of words, it shaped the way people watch and understand events, but also to the parties ' self-identity has a far-reaching impact. The label creates a set of essential identities, which are evil and helpless respectively. I always thought, "rapist/victim", is there any other possibility? I'd like to know Satis's opinion.

"It's important to think," she said, as she rapist/victim, "I personally object to such polarized language, like" rapist/victim ", which I think should be" the perpetrator/Survivor (Perpetrator/survivor) ".

"I really hope that Chinese also have the corresponding vocabulary, enough to express the concept we are discussing!" "In the present, I think of Satis sincere wish, but there is not exactly the same word in Chinese." Survivor translation is not quite right for survivors and survivors, who stress the overwhelming power of the disaster and the helplessness of the victims, who naturally have a problem with understanding. I would like to use the term "Survivor" for the moment, hoping that the next detailed discussion will fill the gap of understanding created by language conversion.

"The survivor is a more energy-empowering term, a word that brings hope and stresses the strength of the wounded-we have come through this." But "victim" is "dis-empowering", it is helpless. 」

When the wounded decide to break the silence and present their experience, "The survivor also realizes that once said, the accompanying label may follow her/his whole life and become the angle that people will talk about you," she shrugs and laughs Tho, "it's not a very appealing idea! 」

As for rapists, "we can say that this is the person who committed the sexual assault." "She explains," the statement focuses on the "act of rape" itself. When we point to a person who says "rapist," we are more akin to an identity than an act. 」

"But that identity eats up all the self-identity of a person (that is become all consuming identity of the persons.). When we describe the word "behavior" as a whole person, we stop analyzing the behavior itself and miss the opportunity to understand the cause of the behavior, but the whole society should think about how to solve this behavior together (work towards solving this behavior). "To eliminate this person, the problem will not be solved.

"No life is a rape, rape is the act of learning." "What happened to her did not affect her gentle and profound insight into the matter. "A rapist is a solid identity, and behavior can be changed." 」

No life is a rape, rape is through learning behavior, and behavior can be changed.

Thordis Elva

Listen to her dismantle the label, I was surprised to find that she can not only easily leave the scene of the incident, but also from the victim's traumatic perspective, pull away from the perspective of the full view of the fine analysis of sexual aggression itself. This is the perspective of society that has not provided us with our thinking. The more people tell women how to protect themselves, the more they push all women into the "I am a potential victim" of sexual assault, we have never been able to leave the scene and helpless feelings.

Back to the survivors, "being a survivor, saying," I'm not just the incident that happened to me, I refuse to be sexually abused by this definition of behavior, it would be very powerful. "At the same time, the return to behavior itself will help the survivors to reduce confusion," especially in the case of an acquaintance, a survivor knows that in daily interactions, the person who hurt him is not exactly a monster. 」

We are not gods, we are not demons, but we are two.

This trip to Cape Town, no predecessors have passed, and do not know where to go. But Satis and Tom set a firm common goal: to let the events of the year no longer have the destructive power to destroy each other's lives, to return to peace and stability.

They did go to the destination.

Before the meeting in Cape Town, Satis stood on the coast of South Africa.

Satis The eight days of all the details in a diary, with Tom's memory, two people as a common author published the "South of Forgiveness." In their TED speeches, the official statistics of more than 4.4 million people watch, the world's 22 regions of people to translate the film into 22 languages. Looking back, it is because there is no other way, after the rape, must find hope.

"Forgiveness should never be a formula. In fact, there is no way to be "right" or any method can be considered "incorrect". "She and Tom's experience does not necessarily apply to everyone, and can not speak for others."

"Everyone has the right to find peace in their own way." We should not tell any sexually abused survivors that your method is wrong. Because the truth is, we can never really feel empathy (we can never be in their shoes). 」

The sense of empathy for sexual trauma is fundamentally difficult, and we have to admit our own limitations and only tell her/him that we will always be here. "Tell him, I trust you, I believe in all the attempts you have made for yourself, and every step you take, I wish and respect." 」

Tell sexually abused survivors, I trust you to try everything you have done for yourself, every step you take, I sincerely wish and respect.

Thordis Elva

After the #METOO, it can be #IWILL

See the hope of the dawn, often experienced the longest despair of darkness. Don't let them walk alone in the night.

Companionship is not only a matter for the survivors, but the global #METOO movement is to come out across the boundaries of geography, culture and language, telling people that you are not alone. And after #METOO, roll up the sleeves, we still want to solve the problem.

"I have a friend tell me that the next stage is #IWILL: I will make sure that when I see sexual harassment happen around me, I must get up and stop; I will make sure that I don't use sexual harassment language and so on. "Here we are, jumping on both ends of the screen." It is the power of every person to contribute to change, not just the responsibility of the perpetrator, not the survivor or the companion, which is everyone of us.

"Men are not the enemies of this movement, on the contrary, we are allies, please start with listening, respect and trust, and we can act as part of the solution." "Satis said," I remembered the last of the book, and before Tom and Satis parted, they opened their arms and embraced each other without hesitation or fear.

Remember these words and remember that our actions at the moment can shape the future we want.

Forgiveness is not weakness, but softness requires strength. I think of Gandhi as saying that forgiveness is a trait of the strong. Violent violence is not the answer. I would like to add at this point that we must build a reassuring network of human support for sexual assault survivors.

The end of the interview, I looked up to rest, see the sunset on the sky gorgeous, boundless. Fortunate to have such a version of the story, I thought to myself how lucky I am.

After the tears, the south of forgiveness, there is power growing.


The end of the visit, the two have a lot to say, said a good many times to hang out Skype phone.

After I hung up the phone, I wrote four versions of the interview, trying to deliver power, and I felt I could live up to it.

This book, also wants to recommend to all people, whether or not they have been subjected to sexual violence, we have been hurt on the road of life, struggling to "forgive" each other's thoughts. This is not just for those of you who have been sexually abused, but for all of us who are trying to reconcile with the past and try to recover from different traumatic experiences, this book will accompany you to find your peace and answer.

Let the story of sexually abused survivors be heard, is the media environment that women fans want to provide.

We know that many people around the world have a personal feeling about gender issues, no matter gender temperament, gender identity or sexual orientation, are thinking about how to act. It is difficult to communicate because of gender, gender equality is very far, gender initiative is very hard, so we have to go together.

Women are obsessed with this year, launch a "partner Program", invite you to do something more, join in the "partner Program" believe that a person can not do, a group of people, we can promote the impact of gender action is unlimited, will be able to reach more and more widely farther.

▍ Learn more please point: Partner Program