A Glasgow restaurant has come under fire for using their blackboard to make a joke about rape just yards from the city’s rape crisis centre.

The board outside Kublai Khan Mongolian restaurant in the Merchant City read "Surprise sex is the best thing to wake up to... unless you're in prison."

Isobel Kerr from the centre said the joke trivialised sexual violence and would undoubtedly upset survivors of rape passing the sign.

The restaurant's owner defended the "edgy" joke and accused the centre of over-reacting.

On their Facebook page, Rape Crisis Glasgow said many survivors of sexual violence would walk pass the sign as they came to centre to “talk about the effects of trauma and the impact that sexual violence has wrought upon their lives and relationships.”

They continued: “Rape is an act where the perpetrator not only wants to hurt you in a uniquely personal way, but enjoys the violation. Rape is so much more than just the act of sex - it denies your bodily and sexual autonomy. The humiliation and shame experienced by rape survivors is unique and reflects a depth of experience that nobody, except perhaps a rapist, wants to imagine.

“These survivors who saw this board today won't be held back by this flippant and insensitive 'joke' but every time a rape joke is shared it causes offence and anger, and colludes in a culture that minimises and isolates survivors making it even harder to speak and be heard.”

Kerr pointed out that the restaurant was also close to the Children’s Reporter's office, the High Court, and Women’s Aid, and that many victims of sexual abuse will have walked past.

“It doesn’t matter though,” Kerr said, “it’s so prevalent that there will be survivors walking past not involved with any of those services who will be offended.”

Andrew McRobbie, the restaurant’s owner told the National that it was just a joke: “I intermittently put jokes or amusing ditties or phrases on the boards outside the restaurant in a bid to put smiles on people’s faces,” he said.

“I realise that this one was a bit edgy, but humour often is. The bottom line is it’s a joke. It doesn’t at all imply that I condone rape. And anyone who thinks that is the case has got the wrong end of the stick.”

He continued: “Jokes and humour can be found in all sorts of things whether it be death, war, suicide - it doesn’t mean because you tell a joke on that subject that you are in favour or condone those things. I do think there has been an over reaction to the sign.”

McRobbie said the Glasgow Licensing Board had visited the restaurant on Friday after complaints and that he had now removed the joke from the board. A picture of the board was, at the time of going to print, still on the Kublai Khan Facebook page.