Expert: Domestic violence continues during pregnancy

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Born Smith is accused in the murder of his pregnant girlfriend. Aliss Collins’ body was found in a home on Marcy Street in Cranston after a fire. The Medical Examiner says she died from blunt force trauma, and smoke inhalation. Police say there were no red flags in the lead up to her death.

“We didn’t have the usual tell tale signs you usually see in these cases — where restraining orders were in affect, or multiple calls for domestic related matters to the residence,” Col. Michael Winquist of the Cranston Police said.

However, advocates for victims of domestic abuse say it’s not unusual for violence to continue during pregnancy.

“The studies show between 4 to 8% of women are abused when they’re pregnant,” Deborah DeBare, Executive Director of the RI Coalition Against Domestic Violence told Eyewitness News.

Police say Collins and her accused killer had been in a 10-month relationship, but it is not known who was the father of her unborn child.

“When a woman is pregnant, that’s a beginning of a significant change in your whole life, in the family’s life. And so the abuser often time feel a sense of loss of control,” DeBare explained. “Things are changing and they’re out of his control.”

DeBare says more resources need to be put into preventing domestic violence.

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