'Dod pieci' charity marathon to target reducing domestic violence

The annual 'Dod pieci' (Gimme five) charity marathon run by youth radio station pieci.lv [part of the same public media framework as LSM] will this year aim to raise awareness of domestic violence and contribute towards its reduction, organizers announced October 8.

Emotional, physical, financial and other forms of violence among family members will be in focus, as well as the consequences and scenarios for action to enable new lives to begin.

The funds donated during the marathon will be directed to the Ziedot.lv rapid response crisis fund, providing financial support mainly to women and children who want to break free from violent relationships but are unable to do so due to lack of support.

This year's charity marathon will take place from 17 to 23 December. It is organized by Latvian Radio in cooperation with Latvian Television and public media portal LSM.lv. 

For the first time, the content partner of the project will be the Baltic Center for Investigative Journalism Re:Baltica, which has been researching the topic of domestic violence in depth since last year and has successfully placed this often taboo topic high on the political and social agenda.

"It seems that this year, more than any other year, we will try to get behind closed doors - into people's private lives, which no one wants to talk about because of shame, humiliation, fear, despair and many other emotions. We, as public media, need to talk about this," said DJ Toms Grēviņš, a stalwart of previous Dod pieci charity drives. 

As always, members of the public will be asked to pledge 5 euros for the chance to get the song of their choice played on the airwaves, though naturally larger donations are also welcome.  

Data quoted by the organizers claim that one in three women in Latvia (32%) say they have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse from a partner. Along with Denmark, it is the highest rate in the European Union. 

Latvian Radio channels will start covering the topic of domestic violence from October, and will be followed by Latvian Television, which in cooperation with "Re: Baltica", will broadcast a series of joint articles and stories focusing more on the topic of how to get abusers to change their behavior. The aim is to make behavioral correction courses for those guilty of domestic violence compulsory rather than voluntary, as is currently the case.

All content will be summarized in a project called “The vicious circle. Domestic violence". On social networks content will use the hashtag #PalīdziIzrauties (Help get out).

Previous Dod pieci campaigns have had issues such as palliative care for cancer patients, children living in care, and help for parents of children with disabilities as their central themes, and have raised hundreds of thousands of euros for featured charities.

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