But after first rejecting the possibility of meeting her attacker face-to-face as part of a restorative justice scheme, she later decided to seek resolution through this increasingly popular technique.

"It changed the power balance," she said. "I'm not scared of him now."

"Previously he had control over me, and I couldn't bear that. I also hated the thought of him thinking that he had ruined my life.

"Now I've taken that control back - and yes, I did forgive him."

Ms Nodding said she is not a particularly religious person, and surprised herself with her ability to forgive.

But by doing so, she said she can now get on with her life without fear or shame.

"It's totally given me my life back," she said.

A Ministry of Justice evaluation found 85% of victims were satisfied with their restorative justice experience, and reoffending rates were reduced by 27% where the technique was employed.itics claim restorative justice should not be an option for serious crimes like rape and murder, but Ms Nodding said she would wholeheartedly disagree.

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