Past Campaigns

Citizens Against Rape (CAR) – 1987 & 2003

In 1987, concerned members of the Malaysian public came together to form an initiative known as Citizens Against Rape (CAR) in reaction to the brutal rape and murder of a nine year old girl, Ang May Hong. AWAM played an active role in this campaign. Through protests and street theatre, the group successfully raised public awareness on the issue of rape and related laws.

In 2003, AWAM decided to revive the CAR campaign following another rape and murder incident, this time of a young woman named Canny Ong. We wanted to invoke the spirit of the earlier campaign and facilitate local collective action that would bring Malaysians together to work towards a society free of rape. The main goals of this revived CAR campaign were:

  • To gain support and foster community involvement in the fight against rape
  • To provide public officials with recommendations for improving the standard of security in public spaces
  • To set up a monitoring body to keep track of the situation regarding rape and steps taken by public officials towards addressing the issue and ensuring the safety of our public spaces
  • To raise public awareness on proposed amendments to laws relating to rape

The 2003 campaign kicked off with a rally at Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU), where over 500 members of the public attended to demonstrate their solidarity against incidences of rape that had taken place over the years in Malaysia. Pre-rally publicity focused on calling Malaysians to take a stand as citizens in the push for better laws related to rape and implementation of these laws as well as higher standards of public safety. AWAM followed up this rally with a public survey to gather recommendations and concerns from members of the public on securing the safety of our shared spaces.

Men’s Action Network Against Violence (MAN.V) & The White Ribbon Campaign – 2004-2010

AWAM initiated the formation of MAN.V as the first men’s group working towards the elimination of violence against women in Malaysia in 2004 after a series of workshops with Dr. Michael Kaufman, the noted Canadian advocate of engaging men and boys in promoting gender equality.

MAN.V was formed with the aim of fostering a society where all persons value and respect each other’s humanity, equality, and right to be free from all forms of violence and discrimination. Members of MAN.V believed that men have participated in the development of a culture of violence that dehumanises women (and men), and should instead be part of the solution towards ending violence and discrimination.

In 2005, MAN.V undertook a major project to design and conduct a training programme “Men Working in Partnership with Women to End Violence Against Women” targeting young men and aimed at encouraging them to become advocates against violence against women. Workshops were conducted in Johor, Malacca, and Terengganu with an approximate total of 300 youth participating. This programme was supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

MAN.V’s flagship public event was the annual White Ribbon Campaign, part of a global campaign towards confronting men’s violence against women. Since 2005, the campaign was held each year on or around November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The campaigns were held in popular shopping malls in the Klang Valley for maximum visibility, and members of the public were asked to show their support to ending violence against women by wearing a white ribbon. The white ribbon is a personal pledge not to commit violence against women, not to condone acts of violence, not to make excuses for the perpetrators of violence, and not to be silent in the face of violence. The campaign was well received, with supporters including local celebrities and public figures.

Walk & Wheel – 2007

Developed in response to the alarming rise in crime rates in Kuala Lumpur, Walk & Wheel’s objectives were to educate young persons through awareness talks and to encourage them to find creative solutions to the crucial issue of safety. The campaign took a positive approach encapsulated by the tagline “Count Me In!”

One of the key target audiences for Walk & Wheel was school-going children. Approximately 4000 students from 40 schools in the Klang Valley participated in campaign-related talks. A School-Community Project Competition held in conjunction with the campaign saw approximately 130 school and college students taking up the challenge of developing projects to make their campuses and school surroundings safer.
The winning team from Sekolah Sri Lethia, Klang tackled sexual harassment on public transportation. They conducted surveys in their school and at public transport hubs, designed an anti-sexual harassment ad campaign, and offered practical and innovative suggestions like installing mirrors, fake CCTV cameras and launching patrols on trains and buses. The team also created a blog to garner feedback and support for their project. Special mention went to teams that created a documentary film to highlight the dangers of their inner-city school, conducted surveys and lobbied the KL Mayor and Chief of Police, conducted poster and signature campaigns, and revised crime reporting procedures on campus.

The campaign culminated in a public “walk & wheel” at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, followed by a pop-rock concert. The walk symbolised citizens taking collective action towards ensuring safe public spaces. Also participating were people with disabilities, who walked and wheeled to draw attention to their safety and accessibility needs. This event drew a crowd of more than 1000 supporters.

The main sponsors for the campaign were the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Celcom (M) Bhd, Freescale Semiconductor Malaysia Sdn Bhd., Plenitude Berhad, Kuala Lumpur City Corporation Berhad, Zelan Berhad and Kluang Station. The campaign also had the generous support of many celebrities including actress Sharifah Amani, pop star Jaclyn Victor, rock bands Couple and Evenstarr, and popular radio DJs.