Kazakhstan Wins First Lion For Campaign That Helped Criminalize Domestic Violence


Kazakhstan won its first ever Lion this year—a Gold Lion in the Social Influencer category that was orchestrated by agency GForce Grey on behalf of a popular ultimate fighting league in the country called the RFC. 

The league felt it needed to help combat rising domestic violence in the country which in 2023 had risen 100,000 reported cases annually, about three times the previous average.  

There were efforts to pass legislation criminalizing domestic violence (shockingly, it wasn’t considered a criminal act) but men largely didn’t care, and those efforts failed to gain traction beyond a small percentage of the country’s female population. 

GForce Grey collaborated with the league to stage what was billed as a battle of the sexes fight put on by the RFC, pitting men against women. It would take place on social channels Instagram and YouTube. 

That got the attention of Kazakhstani men because despite the spike in domestic violence culturally it was considered unmanly for men to fight women.  

When Fight Day came, viewers tuning in got a real surprise and a very unpleasant one. Instead of an organized battle in the ring, what was shown was brutal images of actual and recorded incidents of domestic violence.  

The campaign reached 90% of the male population of Kazakhstan or about 3.3 million. 

And men were now engaged in the domestic violence issue.  

For the first time, conservative men joined in signing petitions for the enactment of the Law on the Criminalization of Domestic Violence. On February 28, 2024, the Law was passed by the Parliament of Kazakhstan. 


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