South Carolina Man Arrested: Beat Pregnant Girlfriend, Killed Baby

State   Sarah Terzo   Aug 9, 2012   |   6:21PM    Columbia, SC

A South Carolina man has been arrested after beating his pregnant girlfriend and causing her to miscarry the couple’s unborn child.

Michael Ellenburg, 21, allegedly became angry with his girlfriend, Elizabeth Storey, after she returned home later than expected from an outing with friends. Storey returned to the home the couple shared at about 3 AM and became the victim of a vicious beating. According to Storey, who was interviewed at Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, Ellenburg punched her in the face, knocked her to the ground, and then continued to beat her while kneeing her in the stomach.

The vicious assault caused the death of Storey’s 10 1/2 week old unborn baby. At 10 weeks, an unborn baby has a beating heart, a developing brain, hands with fingers, and feet with toes. Fingerprints are developing at this age.

Ellenburg was the father of the unborn victim, and the couple had two other children together. Police are treating the incident as a matter of domestic abuse. Ellenburg is not being charged with murder in the death of the unborn baby; he has been arrested and released on $10,000 bond and is facing a charge of aggravated criminal domestic violence.

Elizabeth Storey said the following from her hospital bed: “I mean, it’s hard for me to talk about it because it was our baby, but I know he didn’t mean to. People look and say that he meant it and he did something wrong and he’s a murderer. He isn’t a murderer, he didn’t mean to.”

Psychiatrists and social workers who deal with cases of domestic violence have said that some women find it very hard to break away from abusive relationships. According to the US Department of Health & Services’, women may not seek or accept help out of fear of the abuser retaliating, financial dependence on the abuser, lack of a support system, feelings of shame, and/or emotional trauma.

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As seen by this and many other stories on LifeNews, unborn children often become the victims of domestic violence along with their mothers. Raising awareness about domestic violence and promoting resources for prevention and intervention will protect the unborn as well as the born.