The founder of a domestic violence charity said steps needed to be taken earlier to combat abuse even if there has been no successful prosecution.
Ann Ramsden, of the Wakefield-based Rosalie Ryrie Foundation, has proposed a “three strike” system in which a potential abuser would face a fine or mandatory course if they were reported to have been involved in domestic abuse, even if the case does not get to court.
She said: “Sometimes even if the cases are dropped we know something is happening. We need to make people take responsibility for their behaviour. I believe people can change but you have to choose to change. If you choose not to then there should be consequences you have to deal with because what we don’t want is for someone to be murdered.”
She said people who realise there is a problem with their behaviour can come “as a unit” to try to seek help.
She said Miss Peacock’s situation and the changes in her boyfriend’s behaviour were fairly common and that no one would seek to enter a relationship with “a monster”.
“I have worked with a lot and some are nice people, lovely at first but that can change.
“It is sad if you can see the nice bits are in there but they don’t change it. Some do – that’s way you hope for”.
Kirklees is served by the Pennine Domestic Violence Group, which can be contacted, 24 hours a day, on 0800 052 7222
And the Women Centre in Dewsbury, at Empire House, can be reached on 07590 445846.
Meanwhile The White Ribbon Campaign is campaign to end violence against women by changing attitudes. Established in Hebden Bridge the orginsations asks people to make a personal Pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.
Its founder, Chris Green, said the funding offered to domestic abuse charities fell well below what was needed.
He said: “My take is increase the size of the pot. The amount of money spent on services around preventing violence and support for women is paltry and that is what we need to do.”
He said there would usually be many incidents of abuse before a partner leaves a relationship but said taking a first step by calling an abusive hotline was vital.
Contact the Rosalie Ryrie Foundation on 01924 315140 or 07757824725, or email e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The White Ribbon Campaign can be found at www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk.