Episode 122 Interview Madeleine Black: Gang Rape and the Ultimate Act of Courage

Episode 122 Interview with Madeleine Black

Welcome to the Love Your Story podcast. On the podcast I have shared stories of everything from eating disorders, infertility, losing a child, suicide, death of a spouse….lots of hard things that people have experienced, overcome and learned and grown from. Today’s story is dark. This is the first story shared on the podcast about rape.  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.  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.

Today she tells the story of finding her voice and her heart and an acceptance of herself. Stay tuned for her story, and know that we tell these stories on the podcast,  not to focus on the hard spaces, but to celebrate the people who learn, grow and thrive despite the dark and terrible roads we walk.


Madeline Black wrote a book called Unbroken.

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.

She says,

‘If anyone had told me a few years ago that one day I would be giving radio and TV interviews, speaking publicly or writing a book; I would never have believed them.  But after sharing my story publicly for the first time in September 2014 I realized that my voice and words are now my strength and I will continue to speak out against sexual violence for all those who can’t find their voice yet…’

Tune in for the audio program and her Madeleine tell her own story.

For more information on Madeleine:


The things that happen to us do not define who we are. It is what we do with the things that happen to us that creates our strength and learning. Madeliene’s shared ideas of love winning over hate, and sharing her authentic path of events that happened, but also her natural response to those events, and then her learning to overcome those horrible spaces through accepting love. Love – the key to opening many doors, is a powerful story. So many of us have our own hard stories. We all look for others who have had similar experiences so that we can find our way to navigate the hard places. That’s why we share stories.

Your challenge this week is to share the love – share this episode or one of the other inspiring Love Your Story podcast episodes with someone in your life who could stand to use a story that show the human spirit in overcoming and leaning into love.



About the author, Lori

Lori is the host and producer of the Love Your Story podcast, a podcast dedicated to sharing candid interviews and conversations about living our best life stories on purpose. Lori pulls no punches in capturing interviews that shine a light on how we make it through the hard stuff – stress, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, rape, the death of children, abuse, divorce and the real stuff we have to deal with. But, she also shares interviews with Olympians and incredible athletes, life coaches, therapists, and people who are changing the world – most often these two categories are one and the same. She has a master’s degree in Folklore--her research focuses on the personal narrative. She is the author of six books and over 100 magazine and newspaper articles, including her latest, L.I.F.E. – Living Intentional and Fearless Every Day. She consults with individuals on a personal and business level in helping them find their stories, reframe the ones that are holding them back, and manage the stories they currently tell themselves in order to create the story they personally want to live.

1 Comment

  1. Sandra Atwood on January 26, 2019 at 9:52 PM

    Breaking the silence and understanding your enemies….so heroic and inspiring.

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