THE Ministry of Women Affairs has launched a campaign against domestic violence, targetting isolated rural communities with a recently produced film, Power of Change, that it hopes will encourage families to resolve disputes peacefully rather than resort to battery.
Sy Define, a secretary of state at the ministry, said the film is aimed at people who are not aware of the Kingdom's laws prohibiting domestic violence, which remains a significant social problem.
"We want women to learn to be brave in asserting their rights and finding legal help. We want men to know that there is now an anti-violence law," she said.
The film script was written by Enjilo Manfield and produced by Khmer Mekong Films with support from the Ministry of Women Affairs. Beginning in July, it was broadcast on national television and in cinemas in Phnom Penh.
The filmmakers hope to hold screenings of the film in other provinces if there is enough funding.
"We want the movie to reach people in the countryside as much as possible," said Ny Chakrya, who heads the investigation department head at the Cambodian human rights group Adhoc.
According to Ny Chakrya, in 2007, there were 632 reported cases of domestic violence, resulting in 603 injuries and 29 deaths.
In the first six months of 2008, there were 353 reported cases of domestic violence, resulting in five deaths, he said.