Madeleine Black: Unbroken
Madeleine Black gave her first public talk to a captivated audience at our annual Festival of Light a few years ago (Keele University Chapel December 2015). Since then her horrifying yet inspiring story has drawn the attention of women and men worldwide, due largely to the success of her best-selling memoir, ‘Unbroken’. Madeleine is a beacon of hope for all who have suffered violence and sexual abuse.
‘Unbroken’ – a must-read for men and women alike (published by John Black 2017)
For many years after that night, my memories of what happened after he held the blade to my throat and threatened my life were fragmented… difficult to piece together. It was too extreme, too violent for me to understand.
Violently gang-raped when she was thirteen years old, and raped three more times before the age of eighteen, Madeleine has experienced more trauma in her life than most ever will.
Living in a state of shock and self-loathing, it took her years of struggle to confront the buried memories of that first attack and begin to undo the damage it wrought, as men continued to take advantage of her fragility in the worst possible way.
Yet, after growing up with a burden no teenager should ever have to shoulder, she found the heart to carry out the best revenge plan of all: leading a fulfilling and happy life. But the road to piecing her life back together was long and painful. For Madeleine, forgiveness was the key. True forgiveness takes genuine effort. It takes a real desire to understand those who have done us so much harm. It is the ultimate act of courage.
In Unbroken, Madeleine tells her deeply moving and empowering story, as she discovers that life is about how a person chooses to recover from adversity. We are not defined by what knocks us down – we are defined by how we get back up.