Thordis Elva (Icelandic : Þórdís Elva Þorvaldsdóttir) is an Icelandic playwright, author and activist who is an outspoken advocate for women's rights who gained world wide recognition for writing the book South of Forgiveness. She was voted Woman of the Year 2015 by the Federation of Icelandic Women's Societies in Reykjavík. She currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden. Nine of her plays have been professionally staged in Iceland's most prominent theatres. She was nominated to the Icelandic Theatre Prize as Playwright of the Year 2006. She has also represented Iceland in conferences for the world’s best young playwrights (World Interplay, 2005 and Interplay Europe 2008). Thordis Elva became one of the frontrunners of the #metoo revolution in Iceland, accepting the Person of the Year Award 2017 on behalf of the movement .
Icelandic is a North Germanic language spoken in Iceland. Along with Faroese, Norn, and Western Norwegian it formerly constituted West Nordic; while Danish, Eastern Norwegian and Swedish constituted East Nordic. Modern Norwegian Bokmål is influenced by both groups, leading the Nordic languages to be divided into mainland Scandinavian languages and Insular Nordic. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages until the Portuguese settlement in the Azores.
A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes plays. One such person, one of the most famous in the world, is William Shakespeare, who lived during both the Tudor and Stuart eras of British history.
An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is also considered a writer. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created.
Thordis' most well known book is South of Forgiveness, a documentation of her rape and journey to forgiveness and freedom, in which Thordis collaborated with her perpetrator. In 1996, Tom Stranger, aged 18, was offered a student exchange trip to Iceland where he met 16-year-old Thordis Elva at a theatrical event organized by the school they both attended.They began a romantic relationship in Reykjavík, and had been in a relationship for over a month prior to the sexual assault taking place. Stranger took Thordis Elva home on the night of a school Christmas dance where she had become intoxicated by alcohol. She was raped by Stranger in her home. Tom ended their relationship two days after the rape and returned to Australia when his exchange program was completed.
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói bay. Its latitude is 64°08' N, making it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. With a population of around 128,793, it is the center of Iceland's cultural, economic and governmental activity, and is a popular tourist destination.
Alcohol intoxication, also known as drunkenness or alcohol poisoning, is the negative behavior and physical effects due to the recent drinking of ethanol (alcohol). Symptoms at lower doses may include mild sedation and poor coordination. At higher doses, there may be slurred speech, trouble walking, and vomiting. Extreme doses may result in a decreased effort to breathe, coma, or death. Complications may include seizures, aspiration pneumonia, injuries including suicide, and low blood sugar.
Alcohol, sometimes referred to by the chemical name ethanol, is a psychoactive drug that is the active ingredient in drinks such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits. It is one of the oldest and most common recreational substances, causing the characteristic effects of alcohol intoxication ("drunkenness"). Among other effects, alcohol produces a mood lift and euphoria, decreased anxiety, increased sociability, sedation, impairment of cognitive, memory, motor, and sensory function, and generalized depression of central nervous system function. Ethanol is only one of several types of alcohol, but it is the only type of alcohol that is found in alcoholic beverages or commonly used for recreational purposes; other alcohols such as methanol and isopropyl alcohol are toxic.
Nine years later at the age of 25, Thordis Elva, suffering from emotional trauma from the event, contacted Stranger by email and he responded. After 8 years of communicating via email, they arranged to meet in Cape Town, South Africa for a period of one week to focus on "reconciliation and forgiveness".During their time together, Thordis Elva, in collaboration with Stranger, authored the book South of Forgiveness.
Cape Town is a legislative capital of South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is the legislative capital of South Africa and primate city of the Western Cape province. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality.
South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Bantu ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European, Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.
Thordis also wrote, 'The Plain Truth' (Á mannamáli), written in the style of literary journalism about gender-based violence in Iceland and its status within the criminal justice system, the public discourse and the political landscape. The Plain Truth was one of the most critically acclaimed books published in Iceland 2009, receiving a nomination to the Icelandic Literature Prize, amongst other awards.
Thordis Elva speaks at many conferences including in front of the UN. She advocates for gender equality and helps people understand the gender differences in online harassment. She has also toured with Stranger and spoken publicly about their experiences, appearing on TED talks, BBC Newsnight and at London's Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre.
London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
The Royal Festival Hall is a 2,900-seat concert, dance and talks venue within Southbank Centre in London. It is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames, not far from Hungerford Bridge, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is a Grade I listed building, the first post-war building to become so protected. The London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment are resident in the hall.
Southbank Centre is a complex of artistic venues in London, England, on the South Bank of the River Thames.
Thordis has created a large Instagram following, affectionately termed "The Army of Light," when she was open and honest about her pregnancy with her twins, Swan and Acer. She beat incredible odds by staying on bed rest after her water broke at 17 weeks pregnant. Her twins are both healthy and happy and she pays a large tribute of that to her Army of Light, sending her love and light from all over the world. She now uses this platform to spread awareness of others around the world in need of light, and forwards encouraging messages from followers to those going through a difficult moment.
Elva was commissioned by the Icelandic government to change the approach to violence prevention and sex education in elementary schools, resulting in the short-films 'Get Consent' and 'Stand By Yourself', both of which were aired on national television and are still used in schools across Iceland with unprecedented results. 'Get Consent' has won many awards and has been screened in the UN and European Commission . 'Stand By Yourself' has been nominated for the 2015 Edda Awards .
The Edda Award is an accolade bestowed by the Icelandic Film and Television Academy, and is the most prominent film and television award in Iceland, awarded annually in February. The Edda has awarded for outstanding work in various categories of film and television annually since 1999. No awards were held in 2009.
Thordis has taken part in shaping national policy on gender-based violence, serving on the government appointed committee that crafted Iceland's current action plan. As of spring 2016, she has contributed to the making of policy regarding violence against children in Reykjavík municipality.
Elva has also served on expert panels for the Nordic Council of Ministers (2015/16), and for the Icelandic government.
Jesse Ball is an American novelist and poet. He has published novels, volumes of poetry, short stories, and drawings. His works are distinguished by the use of a spare style and have been compared to those of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino.
Rape culture is a sociological concept for a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, slut-shaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by sexual violence, or some combination of these. It has been used to describe and explain behavior within social groups, including prison rape and in conflict areas where war rape is used as psychological warfare. Entire societies have been alleged to be rape cultures.
Date rape is a form of acquaintance rape and dating violence. The two phrases are often used interchangeably, but date rape specifically refers to a rape in which there has been some sort of romantic or potentially sexual relationship between the two parties. Acquaintance rape also includes rapes in which the victim and perpetrator have been in a non-romantic, non-sexual relationship, for example as co-workers or neighbors.
Miss Iceland is a national beauty pageant in Iceland. This pageant is unrelated to Miss Universe Iceland contest.
Rape can be categorized in different ways: for example, by reference to the situation in which it occurs, by the identity or characteristics of the victim, and by the identity or characteristics of the perpetrator. These categories are referred to as types of rape. The types of rape described below are not mutually exclusive: a given rape can fit into multiple categories, by for example by being both a prison rape and a gang rape, or both a custodial rape and the rape of a child.
Statistics on rape and other sexual assaults are commonly available in industrialized countries, and are becoming more common throughout the world. Inconsistent definitions of rape, different rates of reporting, recording, prosecution and conviction for rape create controversial statistical disparities, and lead to accusations that many rape statistics are unreliable or misleading. In some jurisdictions, male-female rape is the only form of rape counted in the statistics. Countries may not define forced sex on a spouse as "rape". Rape is a severely under-reported crime with surveys showing dark figures of up to 91.6% of rapes going unreported. Prevalence of reasons for not reporting rape differ across countries. They may include fear of retaliation, uncertainty about whether a crime was committed or if the offender intended harm, not wanting others to know about the rape, not wanting the offender to get in trouble, fear of prosecution, and doubt in local law enforcement.
Antoni Imiela was a German-born convicted rapist who grew up in County Durham, England. He was found guilty of the rape of nine women and girls, and the indecent assault, and attempted rape, of a 10-year-old girl whom he repeatedly punched and throttled. The crimes took place in Surrey, Kent, Berkshire, London, Hertfordshire and Birmingham, and the press dubbed the offender the M25 Rapist after the M25 motorway that passes in the vicinity of all but one of these areas. He died in HMP Wakefield prison on 8 March 2018.
Robert Lee Willie was a Louisiana man who was convicted of the May 28, 1980 kidnap, rape, and murder of 18-year-old Faith Hathaway. He was sentenced to death and held on Death Row at Louisiana State Penitentiary prior to his execution in an electric chair.
Causes of sexual violence are debated and explanations of the cause include military conquest, socioeconomics, anger, power, sadism, sexual pleasure, psychopathy, ethical standards, laws, attitudes toward the victims, and evolutionary pressures.
The Guðmundur and Geirfinnur case, also known as the Reykjavik Confessions, is a case concerning the disappearances of Guðmundur Einarsson and Geirfinnur Einarsson in 1974 in Iceland. Six people were convicted of their alleged murders on the basis of confessions extracted by the police after intense and lengthy interrogations despite the lack of bodies of the murder victims, witnesses or any forensic evidence. In later years, most Icelanders believe the six were wrongfully convicted.
Kristín Aðalbjörg Árnadóttir is an Icelandic diplomat. She is currently ambassador of gender equality in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Reykjavik. Previously, she has served as ambassador to Finland (2013-2017), and ambassador to China and several other countries in Asia.
Þórdís Gísladóttir, also Thordis Gisladottir, is an Icelandic children's book author, poet, novelist and a translator.
Björn Pétursson (1555-1596) was the only known serial killer in the history of Iceland. He was nicknamed Axlar-Björn, which translates as "Shoulder-Bear" in Icelandic.
A marry-your-rapist law, marry-the-rapist law or rape-marriage law is a law regarding rape that exonerates a man from prosecution for rape, sexual assault, statutory rape, abduction or similar acts if the offender marries his female victim, or in some jurisdictions at least offers to marry her. The "marry-your-rapist" law is a legal way for such a rapist to avoid punishment and prosecution. Although the terms for this phenomenon were only coined in the 2010s, the practice has existed in a number of legal systems in history, and continues to exist in some societies today in various forms. Such laws were common around the world until the 1970s. Since the late 20th century, the remaining laws of this type have been increasingly challenged and repealed in a number of countries. Laws that authorise courts to authorise an underage marriage on account of the pregnancy of a female minor when she is below the age of consent, commonly with parental consent, can in practice be a way for a statutory rapist to avoid prosecution for the statutory rape of an underage girl.
Auður Sveinsdóttir Laxness was an Icelandic writer and craftswoman, credited with influencing the design and popularity of the Icelandic Lopapeysa sweater during the mid-20th century. Her husband was Icelandic Nobel Literature laureate Halldór Laxness, and Auður worked as his secretary and writing collaborator for many years. In 2002, Auður received the Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon for her contributions to Icelandic culture.
The Centre Party is a self-proclaimed centrist populist political party in Iceland, established in September 2017. It split from the Progressive Party due to leadership disputes, when two factions decided to band up as a new party before the 2017 election. It has been described as "populist".
Sóley Tómasdóttir is an Icelandic gender and diversity advocate and a former politician. She was the leader of the Left-Green Movement in the Reykjavík City Council from 2009 to 2016 and the President of the City Council from 2014 to 2016.
Hafdís Bjarnadóttir is an Icelandic composer and electric guitarist who gained prominence in 2013 when she was inspired by a knitting pattern for a lace shawl to compose "Thordis’ Fichu". She received wide acclaim in 2015 for her "Sounds of Iceland", a journey through Iceland made up of a series of field recordings of the natural sounds of waterfalls, birds, lakes, the sea and geysers.
Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir is an Icelandic politician who is a member of the Althing for the Reykjavík North constituency since 2016 and deputy Chairman of the parliamentary group for the Independence Party. She has also served as the Secretary of the Independence Party since 2015. In September 2019, she was named the Minister of Justice.
Thordis Loa Thorhallsdottir is the deputy mayor of Reykjavík City, Iceland. She is also a city councillor for the Reform Party and the chairperson of the council's executive committee.