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

Wellcome Trust's investment portfolio reaches £18bn

19 Dec 2014

The Wellcome Trust has posted a 15.4 per cent return on its investment portfolio, earning £2.5bn for...

HMRC tax statistics suggest large rise in charitable giving

19 Dec 2014

Tax relief on giving is expected to rise by 11 per cent in the year to March 2015, suggesting a large...

Andrew O’Brien moves from NCVO to head CFG’s policy team

19 Dec 2014

Andrew O’Brien is to join the Charity Finance Group as head of policy and public affairs.

PDSA plans to change objects to offer paid for services

19 Dec 2014

The Charity Commission has sided with the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals on a decision that would...

Charity Commission exercises inquiry powers four times as often as previous year, report shows

19 Dec 2014

The Charity Commission investigated almost 2,000 charities in the year to March 2014 and used statutory...

DWP promises measures to improve charities’ experience of the Work Programme

18 Dec 2014

The Department for Work and Pensions has agreed to introduce measures expected to improve the Work Programme...

CRUK crowdfunding effort flops

15 Dec 2014

Cancer Research UK’s three new crowdfunding campaigns did not manage to raise even 10 per cent of the...

Volunteering platform Do-it relaunches

12 Dec 2014

Online volunteering platform Do-it has been relaunched today by its new owner, the Do-it Trust, with more...

‘The challenge is getting people to use IT systems’

28 Nov 2014

Whatever type of customer-relationship management system charities use, the biggest challenge is convincing...

Join the discussion

Twitter button

@CSFundraising