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it is never too late to find your voice , don’t ever die with a secret that is shameful​, life is for living, it is not what happens to us but what we do with it that really matters 

After many years of keeping quiet after a gang rape aged 13 where she was left for dead, Madeleine Black decided in September 2014, to share her story on The Forgiveness Project’s website and she completely underestimated what the response would be. She is the author of Unbroken and talks to Ed Andrew about her journey now to help anyone find their voice and not die with shame and trauma caused by someone else.


Featured on TEDx Glasgow and numerous BBC and Channel 4 interviews and around the globe. Interviewed by Sir Trevor Mcdonald and by Dan Walker on BBC Radio 5 Live and talked about Forgiveness and Health, which led to interviews with Stephen Jardine on BBC Radio Scotland sharing her story and most recently with Sir Trevor McDonald on BBC Radio 4 talking about Redemption.


Her voice has been weaved into a performance called Foreign Body Play by Imogen Butler-Cole and has taken part in questions and answers after the show which will be taken to Edinburgh Festival next year.

She has certainly felt the power and healing effects in sharing her story and hopes that her book will help other victims of sexual violence, crime, PTSD, and anyone who has struggled with forgiveness. She wants to spread her message: It’s not what happens to us that is important, but what we do with what happens to us and if we choose to, we can get past anything that happens to us in life.

Talking Points with Ed Andrew

  • her plan "her best revenge" - discussing her catalyst for confronting change, meeting her husband and having her first daughter at 27, 


  • determined to be in control at 23 but she was paddling like a swan


  • discussing the trauma and aftermath as a child, attempting suicide and ended in kids psychiatric but no-one asked me what happened, normal 13yo


"what we don’t speak about has to come out somehow"


  • the recovery and healing is a marathon and not a sprint - she kept telling herself to get out of the way of her healing


  • "to heal I had to face it" - on being detached from her body and how it took me years to get back into it - find what works for you and having the choice to heal, “yes you can have this trauma but you can have this good life as well” (10)


  • discussing her father who was a holocaust survivor - but has very happy - "we can get past anything that happens in life if we really set our minds to it" (14)


  • working with shaman Emaho, a native American, he helped me to write his story - then met Marina Cantacuzino "The Forgiveness Foundation" - learning to stop being ashamed of something done to me not by me 


  • working with buddhist trained psychotherapy - and taking a deep dive into traditional practices very experiential, sweat lodges, breath work, 


  • finding a place of gratitude changed her life completely


  • discussing Supersurvivors - 


  • something always drove me to clean up - I cannot trust my mind but I have to trust my body (27)


  • discussing her TEDx Glasgow - being an accidental speaker and how she wants it to be normal that we can speak about this

  • on writing her book Unbroken in 8 weeks


  • when forgiveness came in it just brought peace , it was only harming me, it is just like drinking poison and thinking they will die (39)

  • life is for living, it is not what happens to us but what we do with it that really matters - discussing how it took 23 years to accept it 

  • her message that it is never too late to find your voice , don’t ever die with a  secret that is shameful


To contact Madeleine click on the links below:

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