Warning: this story contains a description of sexual assault.
But that's what Icelandic author and journalist Thordis Elva has done with her former high school boyfriend who raped her when she was 16 after a school Christmas party.
Her boyfriend was an 18-year-old Australian exchange student, Tom Stranger, who said he felt entitled to have sex with Thordis despite her being so drunk that people at the party had suggested they call an ambulance.
Seventeen years after the assault the two met up in South Africa to begin an emotional journey, leading to the controversial book South of Forgiveness.
Thordis and Tom, who are now in separate relationships, sat down with Hack in an interview to explain why they decided to co-write such a book.
What happened - Thordis' story
"I fell in love for the first time," Thordis said. "It was a typical teenage romance.
"We met during lunch breaks and held hands and met my family and it was all very consensual and romantic, until one night there was a Christmas dance at our school."
Tom Stranger was an Australian exchange student living in Iceland when he met Thordis. They were both at the Christmas dance when Thordis became sick from drinking too much rum. When she saw Tom in the bathroom, she thought her knight in shining armour had come to rescue her. Tom did take her home, but what happened next would haunt Thordis for many years to come.
"Those feelings of gratitude turned to horror and betrayal as he proceeded to undress me in my room and have his way with me, basically," she said.
"The way I was lying in bed my head was turned toward my alarm clock and that's how I stayed sane through the pain and the betrayal of basically what was a rape. I counted seconds on that alarm clock silently because obviously I wasn't able to speak."
The rape went on for two hours, as Thordis lay there, unable to move. The next day, Tom broke up with her. No one in the family noticed she was in pain and limping the next day, thinking she was heartbroken from the teenage romance.
"They saw me in agony but patted me on the back and said there were other fishes in the sea," she said.
"It wasn't that they were callous they just didn't put the puzzle together.
"I hadn't told anyone because I harbored shame and self blame for being drunk and not being in a situation when I was in control... that slowed down my ability to recover and fully face what had happened."
"My way of working through that memory and that trauma has been through what we call self forgiveness."
What happened - Tom's story
"I recall during the dance drinking with another exchange student and drinking excitedly, being 18-years-old and thinking that this ball was a large event," Tom told Hack.
"I recall brashly walking into the women's bathroom because I had been told she was sick. I remember climbing over the door and it was a recognition that she wasn't getting better and I took it upon myself to take her home.
"Then I got a taxi. I chose to ignore some of the hosts there that said we should get medical help.
"I took her home and enacted this perception that when a boy goes out with his girlfriend partying that he's entitled to sex and I took that to a horrible place."
"I guess, as best as I can place it and state it, I felt entitled and that my needs were above Thordis'."
Until Thordis wrote to Tom years later, he had never thought that what he did was raping a woman.
"I come from an amazing family, I went to a private school, I'm a middle class young man and I don't think I had any vested interest in seeing it as rape.
"I ran away from it and masked it with substance abuse and categorical denial for a long time. Until it was spelled out to me I don't think I sat with that word at all."
Sexual violence in Australia
The stats around sexual violence in Australia are pretty shocking. More often the perpetrator is known to the victim.
Karen Willis, CEO of Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia, said 70 per cent of sexual assaults are carried out by family members, friends, work or school colleagues. A further 29 per cent of rapes are perpetrated by someone the woman meets socially or occur on a date.
"Whatever someone who experiences sexual violence does to recover is right for them," Ms Willis said.
According to Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS) research, one in five women and one in 22 men have experienced sexual violence from a partner, other known person or a stranger.
Dr Heather Nancarrow, who is the CEO of ANROWS, said Thordis' restorative justice approach would be considered "quite unusual" in a Australia, where we rely on the criminal justice system.
However, it's not the first time victims have sought to work with their perpetrators.
"There was a case I remember from Queensland a number of years ago where a woman who sought to meet the man who killed her mother and they became close, so it's not unheard of," Dr Nancarrow said.
"But writing a book in another step."
Tom's acknowledgment of male privilege and entitlement could create change in society, she said.
"If they genuinely take responsibility for the violence that they have perpetrated... they then can be a catalyst to change."
"There is a legitimate question though about whether this man, Tom, should benefit from a crime that he's committed although he's never been convicted of that crime."
The money question
Not surprisingly there has been a fair bit of criticism floating around this book. Mainly: is Tom profiting from rape?
Tom and Thordis assured Hack this was not a money making venture and that Thordis was the primary author, meaning Tom would not be receiving much.
"I don't seek to profit from this," Tom said.
"Any profits that I receive will be going towards a selected charity.
"I realise how disrespectful and contemptuous it would be for me to benefit my bank balance or anything else."
Why would you write this book?
The book has had a huge response, both negative and positive, but both Thordis and Tom say they wrote it to help guys and girls better understand sexual violence.
"We're seeing and hearing from people who perpetrate sexual violence on a daily basis because they're everywhere to be found," Thordis said.
"There is a lot to be learnt about toxic attitudes that govern sexual violence, these notions of entitlement or ownership."
Thordis said writing the book became helpful to let go.
"For me, to unburden myself of that hatred and anger," she said.
Tom said he's doing it to help other guys take responsibility for their actions.
"I'm not putting myself out as a spokesman or a representative of rape, nor am I representative at men at large, but I think there can be benefit for putting our story out there."