A controversial ad for an Edmonton hair salon has generated some heated debate online in the past day, and is now prompting reaction from some south of the border.

The poster for Fluid Salon depicts a woman sitting on a sofa with a black eye. Standing behind her is a man, carrying what looks to be a diamond necklace. The caption reads, "Look good in all you do."

The ad went unnoticed for two years on their Facebook page until the online community caught wind of it.

One woman from Florida contacted CTV News after seeing the ad on Facebook. She says it brought back bad memories. She revealed her ex-husband started hitting her soon after they were married, and the beatings didn't stop even when she was pregnant.

"One time I caught him cheating and I accused him of it and he grabbed me by the throat and threw me against a cement wall, hit me in the head and I had a stroke," Diana Giglio told CTV by phone Tuesday.

And while she didn't lose her life, she lost her modelling businesses and is now disabled.

"I can't even fathom that someone would even think of making an ad for their company like that. I don't understand," she said.

The owner of Fluid Salon, Sarah Cameron, defended the ad Monday, explaining she wanted to do something that would generate a discussion.

"We want people to talk about it. It's supposed to gear up some sort of discussion," she said Monday.

But the ad has left some, including market expert Jana Clarke, in disbelief.

"When I first saw the ad personally I was quite shocked with it -- ten took another look at it and when well, where is the ad value here, it really opened a lot of questions."

In a statement issued Tuesday, Cameron spoke directly to victims of abuse.

"If survivors of abuse interpret this ad to make light of any situation, we sincerely apologize, that was never our intent as there are people that worked on this campaign who are survivors of abuse."

And in an effort to show their sincerity, the owner of Fluid says from now on, anyone who comes into the salon and shows them the ad, Fluid will make a donation to the women's shelter.

Janine Fraser with the Edmonton Women's Shelter says while they appreciate the awareness the ad has raised, she says this portrayal does not do justice to the realities of family violence.

"Edmonton Women's Shelter does not support this particular ad or the methods of advertising associated with," said Fraser.

And Giglio agrees.

"I'm able to speak to you right now but do you know how many women die per day? One out of every three women die from domestic violence every single day."

The Edmonton Women's Shelter says they will accept any donations as long as they don't conflict with their mission and mandate.

The Alberta Association of Women's Shelters has drafted a letter to the salon encouraging the owner to become more aware of the implications of spousal abuse.

With files from Susan Amerongen