Cam­paign against kids abuse

Pretoria News Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

FOR 24 years, Mi­randa Jor­dan has lis­tened to the sto­ries of abused chil­dren, des­per­ately try­ing to find a way to help them.

Ev­ery day, she takes th­ese sto­ries home with her, cal­cu­lat­ing the cor­rect course of ac­tion to en­sure th­ese bro­ken chil­dren are placed on the road to re­cov­ery.

Her or­gan­i­sa­tion, Women and Men Against Child Abuse (WMACA) has clin­ics across Joburg and Pre­to­ria, ded­i­cated to treat­ing young sur­vivors of abuse with limited fund­ing and wan­ing re­sources.

This week, it teamed up with child jus­tice in­sti­tu­tions across Gaut­eng to launch its new proac­tive anti-abuse cam­paign, #MiniMeToo.

In­spired by the global phe­nom­e­non of #MeToo, where mil­lions of women spoke out on so­cial me­dia about the abuse they have suf­fered, the new cam­paign is ded­i­cated to bring­ing the same aware­ness to child abuse.

#MiniMeToo ad­vo­cates ac­knowl­edge how dif­fi­cult it is for sur­vivors of abuse to come for­ward with their sto­ries, with chil­dren of­ten trapped by fear and si­lence.

The cam­paign’s ide­ol­ogy is sim­ple. It should be used to as­sure chil­dren they have the right to speak out, that they don’t have to bear the shame of what an adult or peer has done to them, and that they have the right to jus­tice and sup­port.

“Our mes­sage to adults is sim­ple: Pro­tect our chil­dren. Re­spect their bod­ies. En­sure other adults do the same. Lis­ten to chil­dren’s com­plaints. Speak out on their be­half. Never pro­tect a child abuser,” the cam­paign’s man­i­festo reads.

“The ob­ject of the cam­paign is to en­sure that crimes against chil­dren can no longer take place in si­lence, caus­ing life long shame, guilt and self-ha­tred. We want to break the vi­cious cy­cle of abuse, and en­sure that per­pe­tra­tors of th­ese heinous crimes are shamed and pun­ished.”

Yes­ter­day, the cam­paign be­gan the sec­ond leg of its launch at Kingsmead Col­lege, where rep­re­sen­ta­tives from dozens of other schools met to hear more and hope­fully spread the mes­sage across the prov­ince.

Be­fore Novem­ber’s 16 Days of Ac­tivism, WMACA is plan­ning to launch a 100 000 per­son march against child abuse un­der the #MiniMeToo ban­ner.

For any­one wish­ing to as­sist the cam­paign or march, please con­tact Jor­dan on mi­randa@wmaca.org.

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