A West Virginia man has been accused of brutally beating a pregnant woman and forcefully injecting her with methamphetamine. The suspect and victim were reportedly romantically involved.
On Dec. 21, law enforcement arrested 21-year-old Kyle Wilson Stowers and charged him with malicious wounding after an incident in Charleston, West Virginia.
Stowers was accused of striking a pregnant woman several times across her face and torso, as well as beating her legs with a wooden baseball bat. She was 37 months pregnant and her current condition is unknown.
Police stated that Stowers allegedly "unwillingly injected what [the woman] states was methamphetamine into her right arm," according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Law enforcement also disclosed that the victim was Stowers' girlfriend. It is not clear if he was the father of her unborn baby.
"Typically one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime which is a terrible statistic in and of itself," Jennifer Goddard of the Charleston YWCA told WSAZ.
"So they may leave, and then go back," Goddard added. "There are so many factors that weigh against people when they're trying to leave. ... Often it takes up to seven times for someone to leave their abuser."
A criminal complaint filed by the woman alleged that Stowers had "left her for dead."
The suspect was arrested by Charleston Police shortly after allegedly fleeing from the household where the assault took place. He is currently held in the South Central Regional Jail with bail set at $10,000. He could face up to 10 years imprisonment if convicted.
Methamphetamine is a stimulant that can result in brain damage and also carries other dangerous side effects. In March 2012, a study found that children with mothers who were exposed to meth during pregnancy were more likely to experience anxiety, depression and moodiness, according to CBS News.
A study conducted between 2000 and 2006 found that pregnant women who regularly used meth were more likely to have uncontrolled blood pressure, deliver their infants preterm or suffer a placental abruption, Reuters reports.
In July, an annual report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that over 55 percent of female homicides were committed by a male partner, according NPR.
"What's notable is that this is across all racial ethnic groups," said CDC science officer Emiko Petrosky. "Intimate partner violence can affect anyone ... it really just shows that [this] is a public health problem."
Sources: CBS News, Charleston Gazette-Mail, NPR, Reuters, WSAZ / Featured Image: CSIRO via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: South Central Regional Jail/Charleston Gazette-Mail, Radspunk/Wikimedia Commons