Sexual violence awareness radio campaign breaks record

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The crowd swells all week in Haarlem as Serious Request 2014 continues (Photo: Talia Stone)The crowd swells all week in Haarlem as Serious Request 2014 continues (Photo: Talia Stone)

Dutch charity radio marathon Serious Request pulled in a record breaking €12,380,438 for the Red Cross this week. The money will be used to help sexually abused girls and women in war torn regions around the world.

The fundraising effort raised nearly €78,000 more than last year’s total, and almost €129,000 more than in 2012.

“Very many people in the Netherlands, very many people in Haarlem have shown their best sides and helped us in collecting money for sexual violence victims in conflict zones,” said NPO 3FM station manager Wilbert Mutsaers of this year's theme, "Hands off Our Girls."

“The extensive attention that is now there for this silent tragedy is substantial.”

Three of the broadcaster’s DJs, Gerard Ekdom, Coen Swijnenberg and Domien Verschuuren, were locked inside a glass house on the Grote Markt in Haarlem since last Thursday. Broadcasting twenty-four hours daily through the week, they were not allowed to eat anything other than nutrition shakes until they were released Wednesday night.

“I slept two hours last night and one hour the night before, but honestly, I would do this for three weeks if allowed,” Ekdom told the NL Times on Monday. “To collect more money and help even more people. It is such a good feeling.”

“It’s impressive to see how people have embraced this important topic of sexual abuse.”

“I have great respect for everyone who helped 3FM Serious Request to create such a successful campaign,” Mutsaers said.