The name of Carolyn's shop has caused mass outrage. But she's not backing down.

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In Innisfail, a small town in Queensland’s far north, there’s a small fish and chip shop that’s currently at the centre of a nationwide debate. All because of its name.

‘The Battered Wife.’

The controversial shopfront has been in place for over a year but was highlighted on social media this week, prompting state politicians and women’s advocacy groups to accuse owner Carolyn Kerr of trivialising family violence. But despite the immense public backlash, she’s standing by her choice.

The former police officer, who is herself a survivor of domestic violence, insists that rather than making light of the issue, she chose the name as a way to draw attention to it.

“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 told Today. “Something that could provoke questions, could provoke curiosity. But also the play on words for the shop itself, being a fish and chip shop.”

Image: Facebook.

But unsurprisingly, not everyone sees it that way. The name was this week condemned by numerous Queensland MPs, including the state's Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath.

"That business is completely out of step with what [the] community's expectations are," D'Ath said, according to the ABC.

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


Women's Electoral Lobby Australia also denounced Kerr's choice.

"This indicates the scope of things that need to change in Australia for us to really see societal and cultural change and a reduction in violence against women and children," the group wrote on social media. "This is not clever, or funny. Family violence is no joke."

While Kerr told Today she knew the name would raise some eyebrows, she believes the backlash has gone too far.

"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?’,” she said.

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

She wrote on social media that she has been inundated with abusive phone calls and messages from "keyboard warriors", and was even forced to temporarily close the business on Tuesday night in the interests of her staff's safety.

Addressing her critics she added, "I didn't call it 'Domestic Violence' and your heightened energy could be better served in that area then on an abusive witch hunt. I batter fish, I'm married to my business and I want to make a difference... Obviously it got your attention!"

Mamamia has reached out to Carolyn Kerr for comment.

1800 Respect national helpline: 1800 737 732