Campaign aims to rebrand 'wife beater' A-shirts as 'respecters'

By Ben Hooper  |  Aug. 14, 2015 at 12:24 PM
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CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- An Australian woman is campaigning to stop A-shirts from being referred to as "wife beaters" with a push to rebrand the clothing items as "respecters."

Canberra resident Alisa Draskovic said her "This Is Not A Wife Beater" campaign is aiming to end the use of the domestic violence-evoking term when it comes to A-shirts and replace it with "respecter."

"It's a way of not only drawing attention to the term 'wife beater', but also getting people to come on board and promote respect and respectable relationships," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Draskovic's campaign is offering "respecters" bearing slogans including "Partner Respecter," "Lover Respecter," "Child Respecter" and just plain "Respecter."

"They all refer to the different relationships within which intimate partner and family violence takes place," she said.

Draskovic said the campaign originated in 2013 as part of a semester-long project with the Australian National University women's department.

"When I heard the term wife beater it struck me... 'why do we refer to an item of clothing and make a reference to violence against women?'" she said. "It didn't make sense to me and I wanted to challenge that [and] challenge other people to think differently about that."

The campaign won the support of the Australian Capital Territory's government.

"There's often conversations that we have with each other, for example you might get a black eye from an injury at sport and someone will say 'oh yeah, you got that from running into a door at home did you?' Making a joke out of something that's quite serious," Minister for Women Yvette Berry said.

"It's about thinking about what we're saying and how we are talking about domestic violence, how we are reacting to it," she said. "It's not just a government policy solution. It's all of us in our community that can make a difference here."

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