The photo, taken by Hannah Hawkes Photography, quickly went viral. It shows a family of five posed together between what appears to be Christmas trees.
The mother and her two daughters are bound by Christmas lights and have their mouths taped shut with neon green duct tape.
Their father kneels behind the girls and their mother with a sign that reads “Peace on earth” as a little boy stands next to him, giving the camera a thumbs up.
Many reportedly took issue with the picture, calling it sexist and promoting the idea of silencing women.
Others apparently thought the photo was a harmless joke.
Hawkes defended the photo on her Facebook page, saying it was requested by the family pictured and in no way meant to promote abuse.
“I have been called every name in the book, and have received some very hateful and vulgar comments and messages. I would like to say that as a female I do NOT and have never promoted violence to women!” she wrote on her Facebook page.
“I do not support abuse, or the degradation of women. My controversial photo was taken by request by the family, and was in no way meant to promote abuse,” Hawkes continued.
“This photo was taken with humor in mind, and was meant as a comical Christmas photo. I personally know this family, and have known them for many years. They are not abusive to their children in any shape or form. Also, I would like to add that no one was harmed during the process! So everyone have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and MAY GOD BLESS you and yours!”