Australia’s ‘Battered Wife’ shut shop after backlash

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Canberra, Jan 23 (IANS) The owner of an Australian fish and chip shop called ‘The Battered Wife’ says she has been forced out of business in less than two years following an “abusive witch hunt” by people, who have been unhappy with its name.

“I can’t see anyway I can trade my way through it,” Carolyn Kerr said in a video posted online. The shop is due to close next week.

She had last year defended the name, saying the shop in Queensland raised awareness about family violence.

But it has drawn months of controversy, with state lawmakers and others arguing the name trivialises abuse, the BBC reported.

Kerr said she could not afford a looming audit by an industry watchdog.

It had been prompted by an “anonymous complaint” about staff wages, she said. The shop is in the town of Innisfail and it was opened in 2017.

She added that unidentified critics of the shop had “threatened to throw bricks through my window”, and made complaints to other government agencies. She, however, did not elaborate on the complaint about the wages.

The watchdog, Australia’s Fair Work Commission, did not immediately comment, the BBC report added.

In 2018, several female politicians criticised the name of the shop as unacceptable. “That business is completely out of step with what (the) community’s expectations are,” said Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’ath.

In her response at the time, Kerr said: “I batter fish, I’m married to my business and I want to make a difference.”

The UN has said violence against women in Australia is “disturbingly common”, but experts say it is not an outlier among developed nations. On an average, one woman per week is murdered in Australia by a current or former male partner, according to anti-violence group Our Watch.

–IANS

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