Woolworths boy's a stalker says anti-DV campaigner

A PROMINENT anti-domestic violence campaigner slammed Woolworths for making light of a man seeking to contact a young woman he photographed while buying groceries at one of the company's stores.

Speaking at Thursday's Queensland Says Enough rally in Brisbane, Domestic Violence Death Review Action Group member Betty Taylor said Woolworths needed to take a long-hard look at itself after supporting what many women's rights campaigners are calling stalking behaviour.

OPINION: Taking a woman's photo and posting it on social media is not stalking

Ms Taylor, who organised the rally, said she was appalled to see the company encouraging Brok Nielsen's "girl of my dreams" hunt.

The Gold Coast man photographed an unknown woman while shopping at Mermaid Waters on Monday night.

He then sent the photo to a friend who uploaded it to Woolworths' Facebook page.

The image and accompanying #HopeForBrok message attracted almost 30,000 shares.

Woolworths actively supported Mr Nielsen's quest to find the young woman.

Ms Taylor said the company was encouraging 'objectification' of women that resulted in gendered violence.

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"When women are objectified, vilified, subjected to sexist behaviour, we've got to call it out," Ms Taylor said.

"I didn't see this as someone falling in love with an unknown woman in a supermarket.

"I saw it as someone stalking someone.

"He thought he had the right to take her photo and spread it all over social media and then it became a joke."

Ms Taylor urged Woolworths to reconsider its position on the issue.

"Woolworths ought to really have a look at what their response was - it was appalling," she said.

"Violence against women is underpinned by misogyny and we can't get away from that.

"We have to keep challenging it wherever it's found.

"If it's not respectful, don't do it."

Woolworths said it considered Mr Nielsen's behaviour harmless fun.

"Woolworths prides itself on positively engaging our customers on social media," a company spokesman told ARM Newsdesk.

"Our primary aim is to answer questions and help our customers ... and we sometimes choose to do this in a light-hearted way.

"It makes our day to put a smile on the faces of our customers when interacting with Woolworths, whether in-store or using social media."

*For 24-hour support phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or Mensline on 1800 600 636, NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).



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