A clothing store in the province of St Catharines, Niagara, has sparked government disapproval with a range of T-shirts making fun of domestic violence.

The men's version of the T-shirt, sold at the Cherry Bomb store, features a picture of a bloodied hammer with the caption "She was asking for it."

A woman's version has also been on sale with an image of a pair of bloody scissors and the caption "He had it coming." 

The women's T-shirts have already attracted protests from women's rights campaigners and government figures.

Premier Dalton McGuinty said: "It's certainly something I find reprehensible personally. I'll leave it up to the attorney general to determine if it is illegal."

The store says both versions of the T-shirt have sold out, and that the message was open to interpretation.

The manufacturer of the T-shirt, Jinxed Clothing, said in a statement: "We don't condone violence towards women.

"That being said, our entire line is centred around poking fun at taboo subjects like violence, suicide, religion, and death."