Singing detective to have voice heard on domestic violence at Midland White Ribbon Day march

Singing detective to have voice heard on domestic violence at Midland White Ribbon Day march

SINGING detective Matt Bethune will put the spotlight on the rising tide of domestic violence in the eastern suburbs at a White Ribbon Day march in Midland next week. Nov 23

The father of two will perform a song about the disturbing changes he witnessed over time in two child victims.

First Class Constable Bethune said Midland Police frequently attended callouts to the same houses, and sometimes on a monthly basis.

“The children at this particular home would have been about four and five years old when I first saw them, they were clearly terrified about what was going on and I would leave feeling upset,” he said.

“I didn’t see those children for some time and when I attended a callout about four years later, they were carrying on as though life was normal. It was as though they had accepted the situation.”

He said the most common police report was a ‘329’, the title of the song he recorded with Bassendean producer Peter Renzullo.

“A 329 is where there is no risk to lives or property but police need to get there quickly,” he said.

“We can issue a police order, which is essentially the same as a violence restraining order. It gives the victim up to three days to consider going to court and time for a situation to diffuse. In this case, nothing ever happened.”

The song 329, available on iTunes, will be performed in Juniper Gardens (behind Dome) after the march, with all proceeds going to support victims of domestic violence.

Const Bethune said 329 was the last song to be completed on his first album, Resolution, which he described as a compilation of stories about his life experiences.

“It was hard to express everything I wanted to say in just four verses,” he said.

Const Bethune said he wasn’t planning a career in music and was just a police officer who liked to write songs and do a few gigs.

“If I can just reach a few people to become aware of the issues, or perhaps get someone who hasn’t spoken up before to do so through my music, then that would be a huge win for me,” he said.

Response service figures show abuse is up by 8 per cent to 4,084 cases in 2016-2017, an upward trend lower than last year’s 23 per cent increase.

Eastern Region Domestic Violence Services Network (Koolkuna) and Relationships Australia also reported an increase in elder abuse through neglect, along with financial, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

The Midland-based support services also noted an increase in abuse of parents by adolescents.

Of the 383 women referred for crisis accommodation, Koolkuna was unable to find emergency shelter for 309 women.

Koolkuna chief executive officer Robyn Fitall said need far outstripped the available beds and women and children were staying longer at the local refuge.

She said 40 per cent of the 311 women supported by outreach services were aged 46 to 64 years.

The North-East Metro White Ribbon Day event with the Police Pipe Band and Aboriginal dancers will feature talks by a survivor of domestic abuse, a man addressing abusive behaviour, Aboriginal Elder Di Ryder and Andrea Taylor from Koolkuna.

What: White Ribbon march, stalls, talks
When: 11.30am-1.30pm, November 23
Where: Juniper Gardens (behind Dome).

Deaths

WA POLICE reported 12 deaths related to family and domestic violence in the past 12 months.

The figures include the alleged killing in June of an 81-year-old woman in Stratton by a grandmother and the disappearance of a 30-year-old Bullsbrook man police allege was killed by his father who committed suicide in December.

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