Share

Online charity campaign forces Topman to remove 'domestic abuse' t-shirts

One of Topman's recalled t-shirts
News

Online charity campaign forces Topman to remove 'domestic abuse' t-shirts

Fundraising | Vibeka Mair | 15 Sep 2011

Domestic abuse prevention charity Tender Education & Arts has moved Topman to stop selling t-shirts containing slogans which hinted at making excuses for domestic abuse and comparing women to dogs.

Tender began lobbying Topman about the t-shirts this week, in response to a campaign which started on Twitter.

Twitter users strongly objected to a Topman t-shirt, costing £16, with the printed slogan: "Nice new girlfriend – what breed is she?"

Another t-shirt, priced at £14, featured a list of apologies for doing something wrong. Many online users criticised it for alluding to excuses for abusing a woman. The t-shirt’s slogan read: “I’m so sorry, but…” with a list of excuses underneath it including: "You provoked me"; "I hate you"; and "I couldn’t help it".

Tender set up a JustGiving campaign, asking people to donate to them instead of buying the shirts; and also started a Facebook page called 'sTopman' demanding that the retailer withdraw the t-shirts from sale.

Just a few hours after the backlash on the Facebook page which quickly gained 500 supporters, Topman decided to stop selling the t-shirts. A statement on its Facebook page says:

“We have received some negative feedback regarding two of our printed T-shirts. Whilst we would like to stress that these T-shirts were meant to be light-hearted and carried no serious meaning we have made the decision to remove these from store and online as soon as possible. We would like to apologise to those who may have been offended by these designs.”

Doireann Larkin, campaign manager at Tender said:

“Each year 100 women and 20 men are murdered as a result of domestic abuse in the UK and many more are affected. This can only happen within a society which is tolerant of domestic violence. These kinds of slogans provide a context where we accept the image of the domestic violence perpetrator as the ‘cheeky chap’ who can be excused. 

"These messages contribute to the likelihood of violence occurring, the acceptance of it as a social norm and the pressure on victims not to complain. We’ve seen the results of these attitudes and we simply can’t take it as a joke.”

“We are really pleased that Topman have taken notice of our campaign and the feedback from other objectors and have responded positively by removing these t-shirts from sale and we would like to thank them for that. 

"Comments on blogs and articles have been appealing to Topman to right their wrong by donating and we hope that they consider this."

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

DFID announces UK's first development impact bond

17 Apr 2014

The UK is to launch the first development impact bond - an international version of the social impact...

Sector 'extraordinarily disconnected' from public, CFG chair says

15 Apr 2014

Charities are becoming “extraordinarily disconnected” from donors and supporters who do not understand...

Stephen Frost announced as Charity Awards host

15 Apr 2014

Civil Society Media is delighted to announce that this year's Charity Awards will be presented by actor...

Paula Sussex to be the next Charity Commission chief executive

17 Apr 2014

Paula Sussex, senior vice president, public sector of CGI, has been appointed the new chief executive...

Impact of welfare reforms felt by 95 per cent of Yorkshire charities

17 Apr 2014

A report published today which looks at the impact of welfare reforms in the region of Yorkshire and Humber...

Trussell Trust sees use of its foodbanks 'almost triple' in a year

16 Apr 2014

The number of people using the Trussell Trust’s foodbanks rose from 347,000 to 913,000 in a single year,...

'Technology can offer charities more than just online donations'

10 Apr 2014

Charities are focusing too much on using digital tools for fundraising instead of how technology can be...

Amnesty calls for 'full and frank disclosure' on alleged US surveillance

9 Apr 2014

Amnesty International has warned that alleged mass surveillance by the American intelligence agency NSA...

Virgin Money Giving launches app following year of growth

1 Apr 2014

Virgin Money Giving has launched an app for users after reporting that 30 per cent of traffic to its platform...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising