Official: Child abuse growing in Columbiana County

By D.A. Wilkinson


In a cold wind, people gathered around the gazebo on the village square Wednesday to face a bitter reality.

Eileen Dray-Bardon, the director of Columbiana County Job and Family Services, said that child abuse in the county is growing.

There were 642 complaints about possible abuse and neglect in 2010.

In 2004, there were 477 complaints about possible child abuse and neglect in the county.

Dray-Bardon said she did not know why the problem is growing.

The event was the county’s annual Child Abuse Month kick-off.

Jody Burt, a worker at the JFS, was recognized for coining a new phrase to combat the problem: “No Excuse for Child Abuse.”

The slogan will be on the county’s on-demand transportation service run by the Community Action Agency of Columbiana County.

Tina Dilworth, who investigates child-abuse cases for the Columbiana County Prosecutor’s Office, said that in the United States, a child is abused every 10 seconds, and five children die every day because of abuse.

A poem from Marion Wright Edelman, who created a scholarship for people committed to a just world, was read.

In part, it said:

“And we pray for and take responsibility for those,

Whose nightmares come in the daytime.”

Salem Detective David Talbert said he is handling 14 child-abuse cases now. Five cases are under indictment or arraignment, four others are awaiting presentation to the Columbiana County grand jury, and five more are under investigation.

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