Create a bold, culturally resonant campaign to engage and educate Cambodian men about domestic violence, encouraging them to oppose it.
Confront the 36% of men who've used violence against women, portraying it as "un-Cambodian", socially unacceptable and legally punishable.
Grow our online presence to influence future change.
Create cultural change. 36% of Cambodian men *admit* to having used violence against women, reflecting lingering social attitudes. Tragically, 40% of victims of violence consider it "normal". Despite many previous campaigns, the problem persisted. Based on our social workers consulting with communities affected by violence, we knew that change would only happen when men were confronted with the problem, and committed to opposing it. In order to grab men's attention and get them to absorb a confrontational message, we needed an instantly engaging creative concept that appealed to national pride and traditional values. We created a campaign to harness male enthusiasm for a) the vast popularity of Kun Khmer boxing, shown almost continuously on Cambodian TV, and b) the historic Khmer Empire, which once ruled much of South-East Asia.
Create national impact and lasting change on a budget of $4,500. Social media's explosive growth in Cambodia could provide a powerful, cost-effective platform to reach and mobilise a population eager for change. According to Hootsuite research in January 2019, 8.4 million Cambodians use social media, reaching over 50% of the population. Lotus Media research found 79% of Cambodian Facebook users believe it empowers them to support the causes they care about.
Our strategy was to overcome the limitations of a three-person team and $4,500 budget by creating a culturally resonant campaign powerful enough to "punch above its weight", achieve national impact through social media virality, and enlist men to oppose domestic violence.
The 16-day campaign tapped into Cambodia's pride in the ancient Khmer Empire, embodied in the proverb, "Cambodians carry the blood of warriors in their veins". We reclaimed this proverb, adding emphasis on honour, arguing that the Empire was built by "Honourable Warriors" who protected the vulnerable. This lost tradition was rediscovered, distilled into our slogan #BeAnHonourableWarrior. It resonated and was discussed in newspaper features.
Our leading Honourable Warrior was Chan Rothana, Cambodia's most beloved sportsman and revered Kun Khmer boxing champion. We created a short film showing an excited crowd waiting to see Rothana compete, only to be shocked by a twist - his opponent is revealed as a trembling, frightened woman. The audience turns away, horrified until Rothana pulls off his boxing gloves and helps the woman. He's then awarded our specially-commissioned "Honourable Warrior" title belt.
We urged viewers to:
#BeAnHonourableWarrior by rejecting violence, embracing respect, and raising their children with these values.
Join a Facebook Group where Cambodians could discuss the prevention of violence.
Learn about domestic violence law on our interactive campaign page.
We used social media tools such as Facebook frames featuring our iconic belt to build momentum and visibility and amplified the campaign through endorsements from Cambodians influential among men, including Chan Rothana, footballer Thierry Bin, singer Vuthea, and rapper Reezy. They posed with the belt, delivered powerful messages of support and shared them with their predominantly male fanbases.
Develop the "Honourable Warrior" code with our domestic violence team. Bring it to life by asking people to obey three rules: reject violence, embrace respect, and raise their children with these values. We created a private Facebook Group where people could discuss collaborative actions.
Create a user-friendly campaign page on our website, featuring life-saving resources. As well as our video and campaign messages, this page included a simplified version of the domestic violence law, the first audio version of the law (created in-house), links to support providers and a downloadable information pack.
Produce low-budget Honourable Warrior short film, with supporters and staff appearing as no-cost extras. Our iconic Honourable Warrior belt was introduced in the video and featured throughout the campaign as a motif returning readers and viewers to the campaign concept.
Recruit celebrity "Honourable Warriors" and photograph them with our iconic belt. Although most of the influencers were men (boxer Chan Rothana, footballer Thierry Chantha Bin and rappers Reezy and Vitou), women were represented by influencer Catherine Harry, actor Tharoth Sam and rapper Sang Sok Serey.
Publish content in 40+ posts across all platforms over 16 days, including
Facebook profile frame using the belt
Online space to oppose violence
Case studies of violent men
Three community-based events
Shareable domestic violence facts
Tell A Friend Day where people shared our resources with another person.
Objective 1: Engage and inspire Cambodians, especially men
The campaign was a viral sensation smashing all targets for under $4,500.
The campaign reached 2 million Cambodians - 1 in 8 of the population.
Video watched by 1.3 million, shared by 13,000.
24,250 pledged to follow the "Honourable Warrior" code of non-violence.
48,800 people liked, loved or "wowed" the video on Facebook.
Campaign materials shared 15,000 times.
1,130 joined the Facebook Group ‘’Honourable Warriors" committed to reducing violence.
Hundreds of Cambodians participated in online discussions on ending violence, creating some of the busiest comments pages we've seen in Cambodia.
75% of the Honourable Warriors Group said the campaign inspired them to end violence.
Objective 2: Confront men who use violence
66.3% of video viewers were men 18 - 34, statistically those most likely to commit violence.
2,180 people visited our interactive page on the law.
We created an online debate where a tiny minority of men defending domestic violence were confronted by others persuading them to change, bringing a taboo subject to light and instigating change.
Objective 3: Grow This Life Cambodia’s profile
Social media following grew by 30%, with 10,000 new followers on Facebook.
The campaign generated widespread coverage both online and in print, including Cambodia's most influential English-language newspaper, most popular Khmer-language website, and many boxing websites.
Major international organisations asked to use our video for their own public education efforts, including the United Nations and Australian Police.
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