A Michigan attorney made a T-shirt that — in the end — made him get his own attorney.
The back of the shirt reads, "You say domestic violence, I say spousal discipline." Local attorney Jay Clothier is behind the design. Which, as you can imagine, has sparked strong opinions.
"It encourages violence against women and says, 'If you get arrested for domestic violence, I have your back,'" said a Genesee County sheriff.
"This domestic violence issue is one of power, and we would like to say to the victims, 'You have done nothing wrong,'" said Alfred Harris, a local pastor.
"This type of T-Shirt, whether it's worn in public or in a small forum, is sending the message that they're not to be taken seriously," said Beth Morrison, president and CEO of HAVEN, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence.
The shirt gained attention at a YWCA press conference Tuesday. YWCA is an organization that offers domestic violence crisis and prevention services.
The shirt was printed roughly six years ago, and it recently popped back up on social media. Clothier told WXYZ it wasn't meant for widespread distribution. But, according to WJRT, this wasn't the first controversial shirt he's made.
"Clothier has circulated other edgy T-shirts to spur conversation and, of course, advertise his law practice. This one says: 'Take the fifth and we'll bring the tonic,'" reports WJRT.
"He put that on a shirt, but he's kind of reflecting what some in our community feel and believe. ... We need to use this is an example that we've got a long way to go to educate the community that that is not OK in any way," said Morrison.
WNEM reports Clothier said on his personal Facebook page that a defendant of his made the comment, and he called it "perverse" and "offensive." Clothier told The Huffington Post the words were also "provocative, which could get people talking about the issue of domestic violence." He ultimately decided to not distribute it because he thought it would be offensive to survivors of domestic violence.