The one out of five polished nails which men are encouraged to do for a week at a time, is symbolic of the 1 in 5 children who will be victimized by sex crimes in the course of their lives.
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This idea came to YGAP’S Elliot Costello, who came to Cambodia from his native Australia with Hagar International. It was there, that his life was changed forever, after he met a little girl named Thea.
She trusted him enough to confide her dark and disturbing secret of the sexual abuse she had endured by a man, from age 8 to 10. As they spoke she asked if she could polish his nails; after doing so he swore to her that he would always keep one of his nails polished to honor and remember her.
Elliot learned that 96% of sexual violence against children are perpetrated by men, which gave birth to a movement he established, called Polished Man. His goal was to get men to not only spread the word and become activists against childhood sexual violence, but to raise awareness and begin the conversation with the one polished nail.
His hope was to counteract male sexual violence with positive male role models who would fight for children’s rights, raise money to help survivors, and create a community led by men to change and challenge “violent behavior and language, both locally and globally.”
In the VIDEO you are about to watch below, Costello describes his moving experience with Thea, who inspired him to start this campaign through which he is determined to help to protect children worldwide. Let us know your thoughts about what it means to be a “Polished Man”.