END THE CYCLE: EDON Place president Edwina Rowan and Senior Sergeant Michael McGarry were the guest speakers at the event.
END THE CYCLE: EDON Place president Edwina Rowan and Senior Sergeant Michael McGarry were the guest speakers at the event.

Top cop shares frightening tale about domestic violence

BUNDABERG Police senior sergeant Michael McGarry has opened up about a domestic and family violence incident that was a little too close to home.

During a breakfast hosted by Edon Place to end family and domestic violence, the Senior Sergeant revealed the moment a boy he grew up with in the same neighbourhood shot his partner in the head with a shotgun.

She was killed instantly, in front of their three children.

The silence that filled the room containing more than 200 people, after hearing this story, was deafening.

"I remember thinking at the time that it was murder … And it was and that's what he was charged with, but now I see it as the ultimate and final act of domestic violence," Sgt McGarry said.

Business owners, councillors, police officers and members of the community came together yesterday in a bid to end, what is sadly a growing statistic in society today.

Guest speakers Sgt McGarry and lawyer and EDON Place president Edwina Rowan conveyed messages that were equally powerful and devastating.

But domestic violence remains to be a wicked issue facing our community, among others.

During the 2018-2019 financial year, 589 DVO applications were initiated in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court.

A further 519 charges were lodged during this time, after the respondent breached a DVO related condition.

"Domestic and family violence is not just a social issue, but it is a very significant social-. economic issue that is estimated to cost the Australian economy over $600 million," Sgt McGarry said.

"Two thirds of domestic violence victims are employed in Australia.

"That's 800,000 people and enough to fill 10 Melbourne cricket grounds... and that's just the victims who are employed."

The Senior Sergeant said there were a range of ways that community and business leaders can do something about domestic and family violence.

Suggestions included discussing it with staff to ensure they know the situation will not jeopardise their career, creating supportive environments, implementing educational programs. and addressing abusive behaviour in the workplace.

If you or someone you know needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732.