Child abuse growing in Chilton County

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, January 15, 2009

Over the past five years, the number of physically and sexually abused children in Chilton County has doubled.

This growth has brought some attention to the Child Protect Children’s Advocacy Center in Montgomery. The center is a place where physically or sexually abused children are taken to be interviewed about their situation. The center has professionals who are video taped with the children and make decisions including whether the child was abused or wasn’t.

“We have been working with Child Protect for many years now. We have to travel down to the center in Montgomery sometimes as much as twice a week to have children interviewed,” Chilton County Department of Human Resources Director Marilyn Colson said. “When it comes to the children, it is very important that they be interviewed right the first time because every time you interview a child it affects them.”

Due to the rise in abused children in Chilton County, the Child Protect center in Montgomery is working with community members to bring a satellite office to the county.

“This office would be a great help to everyone in the community including us here at DHR and local law enforcement,” Colson said.

Jana Conlee, Child Protect counselor, said there is a great need for a local satellite office in Chilton County.

“We have been working on getting this done for some time now, and we are trying to have everything completed within a few months,” Conlee said. “Our goal is to try to have the satellite office completed by this summer.”

The group is now working on setting up fundraisers to raise money for the new office. Anyone wanting to help can make donations to Child Protect, 935 South Perry Street, Montgomery, AL 36104. Conlee asks that anyone writing a check to Child Protect identify what they are giving the money for by stating “Chilton County Satellite Office” on the check.