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 realised 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.
I want people to know that they are not what happened to them, that it’s never too late to get support and that they can heal from sexual violence and transform their pain into something positive.
My aim is that by sharing my story it inspires hope for other people to understand that if we choose to we can get past anything in life. I strongly believe that it’s not what happens to us that is important but what we do with it and if we choose to; we can get past anything that happens to us in life.
'We are not defined by what knocks us down – we are defined by how we get back up'
The sleeve reads..
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. 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.
STRONGER I (MADELEINE) is the first film in a series of short films that celebrates the individuality and the passion of people who have faced difficult and challenging situations and emerged stronger as a result. This film shows Madeleine’s strength, humanity, compassion and willingness to forgive the two men who raped her when she was thirteen. She says “Love will always win over hate” and this short film is testament to that.
Thirteensquared is a creative & innovative film & video production company based in Glasgow, Scotland, with a social conscience. Specialising in the production of high quality films & videos, that send a clear and concise people focused message.
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