Domestic violence is a massive issue in Cambodia, crippling communities in a variety of ways. Here are some basic facts:
As part of the annual 16 Days Of Activism against gender-based violence, the primary objective of our campaign is to reduce the incidence of violence against women and children. The campaign sheds light on domestic violence and its destructive impact on communities. We also wanted to show the different dimensions of abuse and highlight that it isn’t only physical. Our goals included -
Our campaign targets were:
Our Communications Strategy addressed the above focus areas through the production and release of a video called ‘Goodbye My Love’, and an interlinked social media campaign. The theme of the video and campaign was “Give her the love, strength and support she needs to say goodbye.” It called on communities to rally around women experience abuse and shame the perpetrators, not their victims. The video featured our own rendition of a classic Cambodian song of the same name and highlighted different types of domestic abuse. The song is both catchy and is an ode to women experiencing abuse. We saw this as a unique way to continue the message in a different, long- lasting medium.
The video itself was aspirational in nature. In it, communities shun abusers and not their victim, which is not how things are in Cambodia. There was also extensive social media activity.
A schedule was developed for social media postings over 16 days. Each post was a powerful message on domestic violence, including reasons why some women stay in abusive relationships, victim blaming, and more. It also included advice and guidance for victims and/or those aware of ongoing abuse, manuals on how to initiate divorce (a cultural challenge in Cambodia), animations illustrating what healthy relationships should look like. Additionally, we also shared a visually appealing lyrics video for the song, so the message could continue to spread beyond the campaign and across audio platforms as well. We collaborated with Cambodian influencers with large followings (500K+) to share our message and content on their platforms, including Tik Tok and Instagram which resonated with younger audiences.
The campaign also included key collaborations with public officials and stakeholders who not only lent their support to the campaign, but also shared it on their platforms to further amplify our message. Some of the public figures and groups included the ambassador to Cambodia from Australia, Cambodian influencers, women’s rights organizations, and diplomatic agencies like GIZ. Our main challenge was cultural. In the Cambodian context, it was a challenge to introduce the idea that domestic abuse does not need to be physical. Additionally, as a medium sized NGO, our budget was limited. We had $6,000 for the entirety of the campaign, including the production of the main video.
Additionally, because of the controversial nature of the campaign, extensive monitoring of the comment section was required. This was done both to combat trolling but also to respond to women who in need of assistance. In the end our team (who worked in shifts) was able to counter the trolling and get help to women in need.
We consider the campaign a success for numerous reasons.
The short video received over 1.5 million views, exceeding our target of 1 million views. The overall campaign which included 32 posts over the 16-day period, reached over 4 million people - nearly a quarter of the Cambodian population, exceeding our goal of 3 million. Additionally, 14,000 people clicked our dedicated domestic violence website for additional linked resources and more information, exceeding our goal of 10,000. Crucially, the campaign received extensive engagement, with over 1 million reactions. The campaign was also featured in Phom Penh Post, one of Cambodia’s largest newspapers.
The campaign was also very creative. By taking a classic Cambodian song and making our own version, we have ensured that the message can continue to spread in different mediums beyond the campaign. The entire campaign, from staff-costs, implementation and execution, production of the video and commissioning of the song was done with just $6000. We are optimistic that the impact of the campaign, the reach, and the ROI will be unmatched.