The window of the fish and chips shop in Innisfail, Queensland, which is causing controversy.
The window of the fish and chips shop in Innisfail, Queensland, which is causing controversy.

Fish and chip shop defends ‘offensive’ name

THE owner of a Far North Queensland fish and chip shop has hit back at suggestions her business name "The Battered Wife" is promoting domestic violence.

Former police officer Carolyn Kerr opened the shop in Innisfail more than a year ago, but after condemnation from a number of Queensland politicians, Ms Kerr has been forced to defend herself.

The controversial shopfront, which has the words "The only battering anyone need know" written in the corner, divided Australia after a number of domestic violence groups said the name was making light of men hitting women.

Speaking on Today, Ms Kerr said the suggestion her shop name was promoting domestic violence was "ludicrous".

"There is a lot of beautiful, intelligent women out there in really bad situations and to assume that I was making light of the subject, that I was promoting it … No-one is going to walk past my shop and say, 'The Battered Wife. Hey, how about we take some advice on this?'," said Ms Kerr, who is a survivor of domestic violence herself.

"It is just ludicrous. The way it has been misconstrued is quite offensive.

"It is disappointing that the mentality of the people who have thrown this at me is that they condemn the violence. They condemn domestic violence but they are using that same intimidation and abusive tactics … They are no better than anyone else."

She explained on Today how she came up with the name.

"Originally it was suggested to me as a little bit of a joke. But it seemed, yeah, like an interesting option with a bit of spark, you know," she said.

"Something that could provoke questions, could provoke curiosity. But also the play on words for the shop itself. Being a fish and chip shop itself."



Ms Kerr’s shop in Innisfail.
Ms Kerr’s shop in Innisfail.

Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath was one of the many to condemn the Innisfail business yesterday.

"That business is completely out of step with what (the) community's expectations are," Ms D'Ath said.

"We're talking about respect, we are talking about changing culture. There's nothing funny about a statement like that."

Ms Kerr maintains her shop draws attention to the issue.

"With everything we've got wrong with our society at the moment, it's my own little way to put my personal stamp on what shouldn't be and make people talk about it, make people think about it and do for the community what I can do to assist this," Ms Kerr told 7 News.


Despite all the backlash, Ms Kerr said she's going to stick with the name.

"It's a fish and chip shop first and foremost, 'The Battered Wife'. I make good batter. I am married to my business," she said.

"From domestic violence and the play on words and the suggestion it's a serious problem in our society and it needs help. No-one seems to be standing up for it. This is my little way of

just digging my heels in a little bit and saying, 'Enough is enough.'

"Our local shelter in Innisfail here, I have been told it has had its funding virtually cut off in this financial budget. Up here there is virtually nothing. It is so difficult.

"It is heartbreaking to see that these beautiful people are going through and looking for and needing support and they are on a shoestring here. That has got to change. If this is what it takes to make a stands and make a difference and be heard, then so be it. These guys need help."


If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).