Bikers Against Child Abuse

Today I had the pleasure of seeing a presentation by a group called B.A.C.A., Bikers Against Child Abuse.  This is an organization that is made up of bikers, but they are not a motorcycle club.  They are a tax exempt 501 (C) (3) corporation that acts as a mentor and advocate for abused children, along the lines with what the Patriot Guard does.

From their website:

Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. We exist as a body of Bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization. We work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children. We desire to send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is part of our organization, and that we are prepared to lend our physical and emotional support to them by affiliation, and our physical presence. We stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse. We do not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner, however, if circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle preventing a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle.

This was explained in that they will shield, not fight.  They will not use violence, but will rather act as a shield to prevent the child from being injured or harmed.  This, to me, is fairly significant as it shows a level of morals that can make this an organization worthy of what it is trying to achieve as child advocates.

The mission statement goes on to describe how the organization works:

Bikers Against Child Abuse, Inc. (BACA) is organized with a central contact person to receive calls from referring agencies and individuals. A recognized, authorized agency with which the child has had contact determines that the child is still frightened by his or her environment. The agency representative contacts BACA, or refers the individual to contact BACA and the name and address of the child is given to our BACA/Child Liaison. The Liaison determines that the case is legitimate, meaning that the authorities have been contacted, and the case in being processed within the system. The Liaison contacts the family and an initial ride is organized to meet the child at their home or in some other location. The entire BACA chapter rides to meet the child and he/she is given a vest with a BACA patch sewn on the back. The child is free to wear the vest or not, and we support their decision. The child is also given bumper stickers, and other gifts that are generally donated by the public. These initial visits generally last about a half an hour.

Following this initial contact, the child is given the name and number of two BACA members residing geographically closest to them, who then become the childs primary contact person(s). Prior to becoming the primary contacts for the child, the bikers are cleared for participation by clearing an extensive background check, have ridden with the Chapter for at least a year, and have received special instructions from the Licensed Mental Health Professional. Anytime the child feels scared and feels the need for the presence of his new BACA family, the child may call upon these bikers to go to the childs house and provide the necessary reassurance to feel safe and protected. BACA members and supporters also support the children by: providing escorts for them if they feel scared in their neighborhoods; riding by their homes on a regular basis; supporting the children at court and parole hearings; attending their interviews, and; staying with the children if they are alone and frightened. The BACA members never go to the childs house alone and never without the knowledge or permission of the parents. Our mission is not to be permanently engaged as the childs power. Our mission is to help the children and their families learn how powerful they can be. Our presence will be available as long as the child needs us. BACA also holds other functions for the children such as Bar-B-Ques, and parties.

A bad dream at 2am has the kid scared?  Then one of their contacts gets a call.  Needing some support while being at home alone?  A B.A.C.A. contact team will come by and provide a little comfort through companionship.  When the child is “adopted” by this “biker gang” (not a gang, mind you), they are made part of the family.  A ceremony is held and the kid is given a denim vest with patches on it.  They are also given a “family” name.  Most of this process is to maintain anonymity (the contacts and other group members don’t have the childs real name, using a nickname in place of it).  But it also really kind of reinforces this feeling that they now belong to a group that is large, with large and tough looking people, and that this group has their back.  Besides, is there really anything cuter than a little 5 year old blonde girl running around with the name “Cinderella” on her biker vest?

Many of the B.A.C.A. members are from social services (the founder, Chief, is a social worker from Utah), law enforcement, the clergy, and other nonprofit organizations (one gentleman I met today is married to a lady who works with CASA, another children’s help organization).  As many of us know, bikers come from all walks of life.  And not everyone who likes motorcycles is cut from the “outlaw biker” die.

If you find yourself enjoying biking, and can pass a series of criminal background checks, this is an organization that is among the most worthy I have ever seen.  The stories that bring this need forward are utterly heart breaking.  1 in 3 girls, and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually abused.  There is certainly a need for someone to support them and help them find the courage to speak up against their attackers.

This is a video that is, in essence, the same one shown today (only 3 minutes shorter, somehow):

I have an uncle that is an outlaw biker, and most of his brothers are actually some good men who have done many, many good things for people (both as a club, and individually).  Not like the stereotypical outlaw biker gang.  But these guys…they aren’t a gang.  They just look kind of rough.  They play a role in giving the children confidence and courage when facing an intimidating situation.  And they encourage justice.  I absolutely LOVE this organization.

You can find more information on the group by visiting their website located here.

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