SURVIVORS of abuse break the silence and cycle of terror on Orchid Day next month in a Phnom Penh evening to raise awareness for Hagar Cambodia, a group which helps women and children build a new life after domestic violence.
Hagar Cambodia and a host of local businesses are preparing an evening of fine wine and fashion, highlighted by courageous women from Hagar sharing their stories of overcoming abuse.
“Together we want to raise the awareness to start the end of the cycle of violence against women in Cambodia – first, by breaking the silence around the issue and second, by breaking the cycle of abuse,” said one of the event’s organisers.
The event on November 17 is believed to be Cambodia’s first to mark White Ribbon Day, a United Nations-sponsored event promoting the elimination of violence against women on November 25. Those showing support wear a white ribbon.
The day was created by a handful of Canadian men in 1991 on the second anniversary of one man’s massacre of 14 women in Montreal. The campaign urges men to speak out against violence against women.
Hagar’s clients have come from many frightening situations. “One day, my husband hit me until I was unconscious and I ended up in the hospital. Then I came to Hagar. Today, I am strong and happy in my life. I have a job and my children are studying at school. My life has been transformed,” says one woman client.
One hundred percent of ticket sales will go directly to support the work of Hagar Cambodia.
Orchid Day is just the start of a long-term journey – one that will lead to an annual and national event that will mobilise the necessary tools to end violence against women in Cambodia.
For more information on how Hagar helps women and children rebuild their lives with new skills and confidence, visit hagarcambodia.org.
When: Wednesday, November 17
Where: Hagar Catering, 23 Street 288, BKKI, Phnom Penh