Why are 'Go' orders only applicable to men?

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Portsmouth Conservative city councillor James Williams clearly feels very strongly about new 'Go' orders aimed at combating domestic violence.

Now being piloted by Home Secretary Theresa May, they give senior police officers on-the-spot rights to remove men suspected of committing acts of domestic abuse from their homes for 48 hours. This can then be extended by the courts to two weeks.

Despite them being backed by his own party, Cllr Williams is firmly against them because he claims they are a challenge to freedom and unfair because they target men.

His objection is such that he says he will not campaign for the party outside his Nelson ward until the orders are withdrawn.

But Cllr Williams does his case absolutely no favours by the manner in which he has voiced his objections.

Calling the orders 'totalitarian' and 'Stalinist' and referring to 'an ongoing war against men by the feminist movement' is over-the-top language.

We don't decry him for raising the issue of police powers though.

Indeed we too are wary of a system in which police officers are able to make instant judgments and, as Cllr Williams claims, act as judge and jury to order men to leave their homes following allegations of domestic abuse.

There will always be exceptional cases where officers need to take immediate action if somebody is at risk of harm.

But we think it would be better in general to test cases in the courts, where all evidence can be properly considered.

This should be done as soon as possible, ideally the next day after any man is removed from his home.

Our other concern, shared with Cllr Williams, is that the 'Go' orders apply only to men.

Why? Men fall victim to domestic abuse too.

There may be fewer of them than women, but are they not equally deserving of protection when they need it?

A person's vulnerability has nothing to with their gender and everything to do with the situation in which they find themselves.