‘I broaden minds, shift perspectives and open hearts.’
– MADELEINE BLACK
I have an unusual personal story which I use to inspire and motivate others. I chose to forgive the two men who gang raped me when I was thirteen years old and I share my story for many reasons.
I want to end the shame, stigma and silence surrounding sexual violence enabling others to find their voice, whatever their story is. I want people to know that it’s not what happens to us that is important but what we do with it. I will show how changing my mindset tapped into my resilience and transformed my life, making people question their own thinking and encouraging them to see that there are always choices to make, and if we choose to, we can get past anything that happens to us in life both professionally and in our personal life. I wants to encourage others to live their life courageously too; but ultimately, I want to inspire hope and show people that we are all so much stronger than we think we are.
The sharing of my story publicly on The Forgiveness Project’s website in September 2014, opened many doors for me in ways I never imagined, and the invitations started to pour in. Many women and men got in contact and explained how reading my story gave them strength, hope, and a different perspective of what’s possible in their lives. I have taken part in both TV and radio interviews and has been invited to share my story of being gang raped as a teenager at conferences, book events, schools etc. I recognise that I was a victim of a crime that left me silent for many years but has now found my voice and intends to use it. Not just for me, but for so many who can’t find theirs yet.
In March 2018 I won the Amazing Strength award at the No. 1 Magazine Amazing Women Awards and in October of the same year was asked to be the Patron for Say Women, a Scottish organisation which offers safe accommodation and support to young women who are survivors of sexual abuse/rape and who are homeless. I am one of 50 Thrivers taking part in research by The Global Resilience Project to develop a resilience blueprint for others. I am a TEDx speaker, a storyteller for The Forgiveness Project and has recently become involved with their programme RESTORE, sharing my story in prisons.
RECENT BLOG POSTS
Judith Staff (Teacher/Trainer)
‘Having heard her speak a number of times now, I can confidently say she has a gift for conveying her story, as painful as it is, and leaves her audience with a sense of hope.’
Dixie Maria Carlton (Publishing Coach)
‘The closing keynote at any conference is a big deal, and always memorable, but this week Madeleine Black raised the bar with her story. She spoke eloquently, clearly, and with heart and passion as she delivered the message that what happens to you does not have to leave you broken. She was captivating and sincere in her sharing, inspiring all of us to step up and look deep inside to be the best versions of ourselves.’
Karla Benske (ACC ICF Certified Coach)
‘Madeleine’s resilience is inspiring, not least because it’s not just about ‘grit’ and getting on with life, but it is about turning the grit into something truly beautiful and magnificent. Her message is that it is not what you experience that matters, it is what you do with that experience that truly matters. Madeleine’s joy for life is utterly contagious and when you get the opportunity to listen to her speak, please make sure you use it.’
Louise Scott (Mental Health and HR professional)
‘As I watched Madeleine, I realised I was captivated and unable to take my eyes off her. She delivers her story from the heart, always keeping it real.’
UNBROKEN – THE BOOK
Out Now - Order Your Copy Today
Unbroken is Madeleine’s memoir and tells her story of being gang raped at thirteen by two American teenagers in the late 1970’s. It follows her journey of survival, healing, forgiveness, transformation and hope.