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Ban move on offensive T-shirts
Ban move on offensive T-shirts

Anti-violence and women's rights campaigners have hit out at the sexual depiction of women as victims of violence on T-shirts sold at youth stores across WA.

One shirt sold through the popular City Beach chain and online shows a naked woman with a black eye and the words: "It's only illegal if you get caught."

The shirt is so popular that the City Beach store in Murray Street had sold out yesterday.

Staff said more shirts were ordered and were expected to be on the shelves this week.

No one from the City Beach chain was available to comment on the shirts.

Busselton mother of three Caitlin Roper said the shirts appeared to condone domestic violence and were highly offensive. Other shirts sold at a variety of outlets show women naked, bound and gagged.

Ms Roper has mounted a campaign against the shirts using email and Facebook, labelling them pornographic, violent and degrading.

She has the support of 60 of the nation's leading children's advocates, academics and women's rights groups who have signed a petition opposing the production, distribution and sale of clothing displaying adult images.

A spokesman for one of the signatories, Michael Flood, from the White Ribbon Foundation, said there appeared to be a trend towards the sexualisation of clothing marketed to children that was increasingly violent.

But rather than ban the sale of the clothing, schools and parents needed to educate children about human rights and respect.

They could then look critically at such images and could choose to reject fashion that was offensive or degrading to others.

Chair of the violence against women advisory group Libby Lloyd said she did not want to give the issue oxygen for fear of trebling sales of the T-shirts she described as "rather tasteless".

_The West Australian _ showed a small sample of the shirts to city shoppers yesterday and the reaction was generally one of anger and outrage.

Craigie mother of one Shannon Sodano said the T-shirts were repulsive, degrading and offensive.

"These T-shirts are super sick," she said. "They are gross and aimed at putting women down.

"If my son wore something like this, I would think I had failed as a parent."