Café owners deny accusations they asked breastfeeding woman to leave
Monday, 17 February 2020
The café owners denounced the accusations as "unjust" and "cruel" and said they would file a slander and defamation complaint. Credit: Google Street View
The owners of a café in downtown Aalst will file a slander complaint against a woman who “unfairly” accused them of removing her from their establishment when she tried to breastfeed her baby.
Willem Moeyersoons and Fabienne Van de Velde, who run the Dutch Inn café in the Flemish city, denounced the accusations and said they had been targetted over them online.
“Someone even called for an occupation of our business by women who would breastfeed their babies [here],” Van de Velde said, speaking to HLN. “We haven’t slept all night. So unfair,” she added.
On Saturday, a woman wrote on Facebook that the café owners had asked her to leave when she attempted to breastfeed her three-month-old daughter while having a drink with her mother and a friend.
The café owners told the outlet that things started getting tense when the woman began changing her child, adding that she had taken their request for her to change the baby in the restroom the wrong way.
Moeyersoons said the woman approached him at the bar, calling him “unfriendly,” and prompting him to explain that the problem was “not about breastfeeding but about the child’s Pamper.”
“If someone is breastfeeding in the business, I will never comment or intervene. If I am asked if breastfeeding is okay, I will suggest to discreetly cover-up,” Van de Velde said.
In her account of the incident, which was widely circulated on social media, the woman wrote that the café owners had taken her drinks away from her and removed her from the café, telling her to “put it on Facebook if she didn’t like it.”
Van de Velde said the incident had led to a downpour of comments made against them online, and that some had accused them of being “narrow-minded” and “conservative.”
“This is cruel and it is unjustly destroying a business and we will not let that pass,” the owners said, adding that they had filed a slander and defamation complaint.