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The Heartbreaking Reason These Men Are Sharing Photos Of Their Painted Fingernails

The #PolishedMan campaign encourages men to take the lead and stand up against child abuse.

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Men are sharing photographs of their painted fingernails with the hashtag #PolishedMan as part of a campaign to raise awareness of child abuse.

The campaign started after Elliot Costello, the CEO of Australian-based nonprofit Ygap, met a young girl called Thea while on a trip to a Hagar International charity project in Cambodia.

Elliot and Thea played games together, bonded, and at the end of the day Thea painted his nails. The next day, Elliot discovered Thea's story: She had been raped on a daily basis while living in an orphanage.

Now, Elliot is asking men around the world to paint a single fingernail to represent the one in five children, like Thea, who will suffer physical and sexual abuse before the age of 18.

A representative for the campaign told BuzzFeed News that they hope to raise funds for children affected by abuse, as well as encouraging positive male role models.

"By challenging men, we empower them as leaders and encourage them to become a part of the solution."

"Our hope is to create a global movement that will lead change in the conversation about what it means to be a man."

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at

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