Attorney Jay Clothier, whose controversial t-shirt that seemingly mocks victims of domestic violence, says the garment was intended to start a dialogue about abuse, and calls Sheriff Joe Pickell's criticism "vindictive."

The shirt, which has caused an uproar with women's groups and area citizens, reads:

"You say domestic violence, I say spousal discipline."

Clothier said the message was also offensive to him, and that he created it to be shocking and dialogue-inspiring. WNEM reports that he responded to Sheriff Pickell's remarks on his personal Facebook page.

"To my friends, a domestic violence client made the comment to me almost 7-10 years ago. It was a perverse offensive comment made to me, which offended me. It was shocking n dialogue inspiring, and also kinda hit on many cases I have, where there's no evidentiary proof n was basically a He Said She Said. I had my printer create it to be shocking dialogue inspiring. I considered making it, but figured it was offensive n over the top. These were a mock draft that I thought was offensive to actual real victims. This press conference about a photo of a shirt made 7-10 years ago was a vindictive attempt to character assasinate [sic] me for doing my job. People should be outraged at the Sheriff for his vindictive political agenda. How about managing your own department matters rather than attacking a lawyer?"

Clothier has certainly started a dialogue. But has his shirt brought awareness to the problem of domestic violence, or has it set society back several decades? Did Sheriff Pickell unnecessarily create a controversy by posting the image of the shirt on his Facebook fan page?

Feel free to share your thoughts.
- George McIntyre
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