Police: Pregnant woman assaulted after telling boyfriend to stop smoking pot

jmcfadden@heraldonline.comApril 2, 2013 

— A pregnant Rock Hill woman told police that her boyfriend attacked her Sunday after she asked him not to smoke marijuana in her apartment.

Police have charged Cameron Lavar Anderson, 24, with criminal domestic violence, according to Rock Hill Police documents. He was released from jail Monday on a $1,000 bond.

About 2:40 p.m., police were sent to a Hardin Street apartment, where they met with a woman, 19, in the parking lot, the report states. She said when she came home from church, she found her boyfriend in the bathroom smoking pot.

She said she asked him to stop smoking because she’s pregnant, the report states. According to the woman, the boyfriend became upset and started throwing things at her in the bedroom.

The woman said he grabbed her by her arms, pinned her on the bed and started punching and hitting her, the report states.

Police saw “minor bruises” on the inside of her arm, the report states. Officers found Anderson on Constitution Boulevard and arrested him.

The woman declined to comment when reached by The Herald on Tuesday.

Anderson said on Wednesday that he never hit her, but did push her on the bed to stop her from hitting him. He denies the charges.

Anderson has no prior criminal history, according to records with the State Law Enforcement Division.

Pregnancy is one of many “high-risk” factors workers with Safe Passage identify when they complete danger assessments for clients, said Jane Alleva, interim director for the Rock Hill shelter that serves battered women and children.

Domestic violence against pregnant women, Alleva said, is common and, more times than not, is about control, not anger.

“(Abusers) start to feel that jealousy,” she said, “all of a sudden, the baby comes into play and they worry the baby may be more loved than them. That power and control is getting shifted, because the woman is finding her voice to protect the child.”

Data collected by the S.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault show as many as 324,000 women each year experience intimate partner violence during their pregnancy.

The state in 2012 ranked second in the nation for the number of women killed by men.

Victims unwilling to leave relationships may blame their abuse on their partner’s explosive temper, Alleva said. But that’s not the root cause.

“The victim oftentimes isn’t a part of the argument,” she said. “It could be because you burnt the eggs or didn’t put enough mayonnaise on the sandwich.”

Trouble at work or feelings of embarrassment can also trigger the rages the abuser uses to exert control, Alleva said.

Police say Chester’s Aris Nichols and Brittany Jordan were seen arguing hours before Nichols was charged with stabbing the pregnant Jordan, leaving her bloodied on the floor of their Pinckney Street home last April.

According to prosecutors, Jordan started packing her clothes with plans to leave when Nichols said he had something for her.

He then stabbed her, prosecutors allege.

The stabbing resulted in the death of the couple’s son, Tavaris.

Nichols, who remains jailed at the Chester County Detention Center, is charged with attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature and death to a child in utero due to the commission of a violent crime.

A Circuit Court judge denied his bond request three weeks ago.

Counselors at Safe Passage urge battered women not to announce intentions to leave but instead to have a safe exit plan in place.

If victims refuse to leave, counselors establish a safety plan to help women cope while they’re still in an abusive environment.

One of the worst calls Alleva has ever received, she said, happened about a year ago when a woman who refused to leave her abusive partner said he kicked her “for no reason” after they returned home from looking at the sonogram.

Since the woman wouldn’t leave the relationship, Alleva advised her on the best way to take blows, such as rolling up in a ball, shielding her face or taking hits in her backside, so her brain and unborn baby remain unharmed.

“Sometimes, that’s a realization for them,” she said. But not always.

Alleva said “a lot” of clients at Safe Passage admit that they’ve suffered past miscarriages after being beaten by their husbands or boyfriends.

Three days before Christmas, police arrested and charged a Rock Hill man with criminal domestic violence after his live-in pregnant girlfriend told authorities that he held a knife to her stomach and pushed her.

According to police, the boyfriend was searching for another man that was supposedly inside the woman’s home.

After she was attacked, the woman said she thought she was suffering symptoms of a possible miscarriage, but she declined medical assistance.

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