If someone does us a terrible wrong, we want to tell the person how we feel. That is how Joanne Nodding felt even though she was a victim of a horrendous crime. Most rape victims never want to see their attacker again but she was different. So she decided to face the man who raped her by asking to meet him through the restorative-justice programme. She believed it would help her find closure. Surprisingly he agreed.
She told the Guardian newspaper the meeting finally took place five years after the rape. The first thing she noticed was how scared he was. He had expected her to shout and scream at him and tell him how much she hated him. But she tried her best not to lose control. One reason was she felt that he would then feel he had this power over her and to lose her emotional control would have been like a victory for him. She said that hatred eats us up and we can’t change what has happened. So she had been determined not to let the crime ruin her life. Neither did she want him to be burdened with this belief.
At the meeting he gave an apology for what he had done and expressed relief that she had emotionally survived the event. She ended the meeting by telling him she had forgiven him and asked him to forgive himself so he could also move on.
Posted on7th February 2011