Tonight's special guest is Madeleine Black from Glasgow, Scotland, UK, a survivor of a violent gang rape and torture at age 13 during which she feared for her life and experienced dissociation, and then 3 further rapes before age 18. Madeline describes the impact of these events, “I lived in fear that the two young men who had raped me would kill me one day. I felt worthless, totally degraded, and empty. I thought it was all my fault, and most of all I felt so dirty and contaminated.” Like many others who have been a victim of child rape, she developed problems with drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity and had one suicide attempt. Madeleine did tell her parents although they decided not to report to the police. At age 16 she left school and at 17 moved to Israel where she first met her husband. When her daughter became 13 it triggered Madeleine to have flashbacks, panic, and nightmares for three years. During psychotherapy she realized she needed “to come to terms with the rape and accept it for what it was. After all, I had survived it and it wasn't happening anymore.” Madeleine continues, "I also realized that they wouldn't know if I felt hate toward them and the only person it was hurting was me.” It took from the 1970's until 2014 before Madeleine was able to tell her story publicly on The Forgiveness Project website. She says, “I now share my story to help end the shame, stigma and silence surrounding sexual violence.” Since then she has shared her story on TV and radio interviews and in her memoir, 'Unbroken: One Woman's Journey to Rebuild a Life Shattered by Violence', with a message to others that life is about how a person chooses to recover from adversity.
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