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Thordis Elva

Updated: Nov 11, 2021

Speaker, Author & Women's Rights Activist

Episode 78: An Army of Light



Thordis Elva is an Icelandic playwright, speaker, and author who embraces the power of her voice and uses it to advocate for women’s rights and gender equality. This week, she joins the Inner Circle to share the incident of sexual abuse that impacted her life and forever changed the course of her life. She talks about contacting her abuser, and why it’s important to demystify who is capable of the act, and how she alleviated her own shame and blame by sharing her truth. Thordis also talks about the powerful TED Talk between herself and Tom, watched by over 5 million people, as well as her book South of Forgiveness, and her superpower of having an “army of light” behind her.

What You’ll Hear in This Episode:

● There is no such thing as an unworthy story, or someone unworthy of sharing their own. It is what makes us connect with ourselves and each other.

● Thordis has dedicated her career to gender equality and helping women realize they don’t need to take the blame and shame from gender-based violence.

● Thordis details how she was exploited at 16 years old, and really what a profound impact it had on her.

● Sexual abusers are seen to be mythical inhuman monsters, but really it’s far more common to be violated by someone that you know and trust.

● Thordis reconnected with Tom because she wanted to know “why” and also see how it had marked his life. He also felt the consequences of his actions and wanted to share his story as well so it could be prevented and avoided.

● Thordis recognizes her privilege of being able to share her experience. Many women are in different situations and can’t say anything for fear of being hurt or killed.

● What it was like when they met up in person, and literally faced their truth once and for all.

● Thordis and Tom took their conversation of 7+ years to the next level with a TED Talk, “Our story of rape and reconciliation” and their book South of Forgiveness.

● Thordis found her Army of Light that gave her strength and carried her through a time where she had an extremely slim chance of giving birth to her twins.

● Whether it’s speaking to the UN or a conference of thousands, Thordis puts the emphasis on sharing her truth and threading humanity together by illuminating our faith and belief in miracles.


● “Every single person on this earth has a story worth telling.”

● “I needed to unload the blame and the shame.”

● “The internet has the capacity to bring out the worst in people, but it can certainly bring out the very, very best.”

● “If you cling to hope, incredible things can happen.”


Journey Into the Inner Circle:

@CarrieADoll - Twitter

Carrie Doll - Facebook


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