Elliot Costello met a little girl named Thea while traveling across Cambodia with a group of other people.
Little did Elliot realise that this meeting would have such a significant effect on him that it would inspire him to launch a crusade to put an end to sexual abuse of minors.
Thea’s little nails were painted every single day. She once asked Elliot to paint one of his nails while they were conversing. He accepted and was delighted to talk to the chatty girl, but later found out that she had experienced sexual assault. “As she painted one of my nails, I assured her I would always keep it that way to remember her, and by extension, her suffering,” Elliot said.
Elliot was inspired by this to work towards changing men’s attitudes in order to reduce the number of children who experience sexual abuse.
At that point, he created the #PolishedMan movement, in which men paint one of their nails. That single nail stands in for the one in five children who will experience sexual assault.
Polished Man works towards ending sexual violence against children. According to the organization, “being a Polished Man means challenging violent behavior and language, both locally and globally.” Since men are responsible for 96% of this kind of violence against children worldwide, according to Elliott, they should be the driving force behind reform if we are ever to put a stop to the abuse of defenceless children.