Emotional Benni joins fight against child abuse

Emotional Benni joins fight against child abuse

Former Bafana striker Benni McCarthy broke down at a press conference on Friday when he opened up about growing up in a family with an abusive father.

He revealed that his upbringing in Hanover Park, Cape Town, was not easy and that he was surrounded by crime, gang life, murder and abuse.

It was not easy watching his late father abuse his mother.

It could have had a negative impact on his life, yet he chose to prove to his father that he was better than him.

He is now a proud father of four beautiful little girls.

It was announced on Friday that he would be joining the fight against child abuse, and he announced his support and endorsement of child rights group Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA).

Benni said he was proud to help such a worthy organisation in their fight against child abuse in all its forms. He has daughters and knows there is nothing more important than the safety of our children.

“WMACA have supported many survivors and have been instrumental in improving the rights of the child in South Africa, and I know the help I will give to expand this work is essential to the future of our nation’s youngsters,” said Benni.

Welcoming the news, WMACA’s director Vincentia Dlamini said: “I want to congratulate Benni on speaking out against child abuse and supporting our organisation. As WMACA enters its 20th year, the recognition and awareness needed will bring invaluable support to continue our work to rid South Africa of child abuse. Not just that, but having Benni willing to stand up and speak out on the subject sets an example to society that if we are going to tackle abuse, we are going to have to be willing to acknowledge its huge impact and talk about how we bring it to an end.

“Too many people and too many communities would rather stay silent, and I know that Benni’s example will help change that. In just a one-year period we have assisted more than 1896 new cases of child abuse through our Kidz Clinics!”

WMACA is a nongovernmental organisation providing free help to victims of child abuse in South Africa, giving direct support to children through its Kidz Clinics in Boksburg and Alexandra and fighting for better rights for survivors, proper sentences for abusers and public awareness of the terrible impact these crimes have on individuals, communities and society.

It was founded in 1997 and has been instrumental in changing laws, attitudes to abuse and the treatment of victims.

November 25 marked the beginning of the international 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, and WMACA will be active throughout.

As well as Benni’s announcement, WMACA will also be focusing on the particular subject of the abuse of young boys to raise awareness of the issue.

“With our 20th anniversary coming up, we’ll be doing more than ever for the 16 Days of Activism,” said Dlamini.

“We’ll be raising awareness and talking about our work, and the announcement of support from Benni McCarthy is the perfect way to kick that off. And we mustn’t forget while we campaign and raise awareness, our staff are on the ground everyday to help children. That’s why we’re here and why we need help to always be there for those most in need and with nowhere else to turn.”

Former Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy.

Former Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy.

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