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Karen Ingala-Smith, Head of rape and domestic violence charity NIA, has hit out at clothing retailer Blue Inc over its portrayal of women on World Cup t-shirts
A clothing firm has been accused of contributing to domestic violence after creating a shop window display of 'Cheeky Rio' t-shirts emblazoned with images of naked women for the World Cup.
Blue Inc in The Mall, Walthamstow, displayed a child’s shirt featuring a woman covering her breasts with her hands wearing nothing but a small Brazilian flag .
The image sparked outcry on social network sites and a petition has been launched to have the product removed from sale.
Despite removing the child’s t-shirt in the display, Blue Inc has replaced it with other t-shirts from its Cheeky Rio range.
Today, the head of a domestic and sexual violence charity NIA, Karen Ingala-Smith, said the clothing will have a negative social impact.
She said: “Blue Inc Tweeted that they had removed the child’s t-shirt but when I walked past today there were three equally bad adult t-shirts.
“When we look at what the causes are of male violence against women, one of them is inequality.
“One of the ways in which this is exists is by portraying women as sexual objects which exist for the gratification of men.
“It is disgusting.”
Ms Ingala-Smith, who has over two decades of experience in helping rape and domestic violence victims, believes the company has been irresponsible and is calling for them to recall the product.
“I don’t like it at any time of the year but especially when the World Cup is on where research tells us that there is an increase in domestic violence,” She added.
She said: “We need to be giving children positive images about what we are and what we are not.
“It is not right to make a profit from degrading women.
“Ultimately they are making a profit out of contributing to male violence against women.
“When police forces across the country are taking steps to prepare for an anticipated increase in violence against women relating to the World Cup this display shows us that Blue Inc clothing retailer does not care about male violence against women.”
Research by Lancaster University showed that domestic violence reports in England and Wales rose by as much as 38 per cent during the last three World Cups.
Blue Inc has been asked to comment.
A petition has been started by Eliza Baines-Holmes.
In an open letter to Blue Inc company chairman Richard Rose she said: “I would like my daughter to grow up believing we are all equal beings and are not put on this planet as sexual objects to be leered at by men.”
Click here to sign the petition.
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