Rape T-Shirt: Amazon Offered 'Hit Her' Tops

Amazon is continuing to offer T-shirts advocating domestic violence on its website - after withdrawing tops sloganed "Keep Calm And Rape".

The company withdrew the rape T-shirts - sold by the Solid Gold Bomb company - from its UK site and later pulled tops with the slogan "Keep Calm And Hit Her".

"Hit Her" tops that had remained for sale on some international Amazon sites, including the version in Germany, after the UK ones were pulled were also unavailable for purchase by early evening on Saturday.

The German site had offered the shirt for a price ranging between 16.90 euros and 18.90 euros and were also available to non-resident account holders.

A spokesman for Amazon UK told Sky News that all offensive garments had been pulled and said: "I can confirm that those items are not available for sale."

Other offensive slogans discovered on the UK website - but now withdrawn - included "Keep Calm And Grope On" and "Keep Calm And Grope A Lot".

Critics of the T-shirts quickly let their feelings be known by posting hundreds of negative comments on the relevant Amazon pages and Twitter.

One said: "Do the decent thing and pull this disgusting item now. Remove all items by the same company to show them this will not be tolerated."

Another online customer, Jody, said: "Your on a roll now Amazon. So not content with supporting and encouraging rape your also advocating violence against women.

"Domestic violence is a crime. Real men don't beat there partners."

Meanwhile, former Labour deputy leader Lord Prescott, tweeted: "First Amazon avoids paying UK tax. Now they're make money from domestic violence."

An e-petition was set up titled "Amazon: Stop Encouraging Gropers", while Labour MP Roberta Blackman-Woods tweeted that "these amazon t shirts are terrible & we must speak out against them".

Amazon listed the manufacturing quality of the rape T-shirts as "Fine Jersey T-Shirt", saying the items were made by American Apparel prior to printing in the US.

When Solid Gold Bomb withdrew the 'rape' garment it also posted a statement on its website which said: "We have been informed of the fact that we were selling an offensive T-shirt primarily in the UK.

"This has been immediately deleted as it was and had been automatically generated using a scripted computer process running against 100s of thousands of dictionary words."

Solid Gold Bomb said it received death threats and its Twitter account was bombarded with scores of angry messages - many of which said: "Rape is not a joke."

Solid Gold Bomb replied: "We're sorry for the ill-feeling this has caused! We're doing our best here to fix the problem."

Both its Facebook and Twitter accounts have since been shut down.

It said the scripted programming process that created the slogan was compiled by "only one member of our staff", but that it "accepted the responsibility of the error".

Solid Gold Bomb said it sends its T-shirts from Worcester in Massachusetts to throughout the US, UK, Germany, Canada and 79 other countries daily.

Amazon typically charges companies 7% of the price, postage and any taxes to list and sell items through its website.

Prior to withdrawal the 'Keep Calm' shirts retailed in Britain for between £14.99 to £16.99 - excluding postage - allowing Amazon to make more than £1.18 on each sale.

Last year Amazon came under fire from MPs and the public over tax avoidance, after it was claimed the company generated UK sales during three years of between £7.6bn and £10.3bn, but paid virtually no corporation tax.