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Pinwheels marking National Child Abuse Prevention Month blow in the wind outside Asheboro City Hall.   Janet Imrick/Randolph Hub

Fight to stop child abuse takes cooperation

Janet Imrick

Randolph Hub


ASHEBORO – The windy beginning of April kept the pinwheels spinning across downtown Asheboro, a familiar sight each spring in recognition of the children hurt by abuse and the campaign to prevent it.


Randolph County passed a resolution recognizing National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Department of Social Services Director Tracie Murphy spoke at their April 1 meeting about the multi-agency effort to catch predators before they reach children and support children who were abused, with an emphasis on their collaboration with Emmy's House Children's Advocacy Center.


Desiree Lambert, director of Emmy's House, read a letter from a girl who described the ways they helped her prepare for her abuser's criminal trial.


The girl wrote, "They were supportive of not only me, but my entire family. … They helped me not only individually but also in group therapy, which was a huge help to be able to relate to other people my age who have been through what I've been through."


"There are many agencies up here, and everyone is very passionate about what they do," Murphy said. "To all of our partners, we appreciate your partnership. We could not do this work without you. We want to shine a spotlight on the children's advocacy center."


According to Social Services, Child Protective Services had to assess more than 1,300 abuse allegations in 2024. Emmy's House has served 206 clients between 2018 and 2023.


District Attorney Andrew Gregson also spoke at the commissioners' meeting. He said his office closed child molestation and abuse cases against 57 defendants last year, but there are at least twice as many similar cases pending. "These cases are some of the most complex cases that we deal with," he said.


Social Services is organizing a Child Abuse Prevention Walk on April 26.


Commissioners Chairman Darrell Frye said, "Sometimes, I think in Randolph, we're kind of sheltered and think these kind of things aren't going on. But they still do. These people are working to deal with these situations. We appreciate their efforts."