Bikers tell WWU students how they protect children

Imagine being alone in a dark alley while a
stereotypical biker walks toward you “” a
large man covered in tattoos,
wearing dark clothes with a vest and chains.

Now imagine that same person
holding your hand as you walk into a courtroom to
face the person who abused
you.  Relieved and protected is probably
how you would feel. That’s exactly
how children who are helped
by BIKERS AGAINST CHILD ABUSE (B.A.C.A.) feel. Protected. Safe. Empowered.
 
Five members of B.A.C.A. visited William Woods University on Thursday,
April 12, to share their
story.  Their program
was sponsored by the WWU social work department in conjunction
with Child Abuse Awareness Month.
 
Members who presented
included Goldielocks, Bear, Rabbi, Diesel
and Deacon. These
names are road names that are used to
conceal their identities
from perpetrators. Road names are
also given to children.
 
A man now known as Chief founded
B.A.C.A. in 1995. Chief wanted to
help keep abused children safe
and empower them to tell their stories.
He knew that children who feel safe
are more likely to provide the necessary evidence to prosecute child abusers.
 
Through founding B.A.C.A., Chief did that and so much
more.
 
B.A.C.A. helps abused children
internationally by providing a support group. B.A.C.A.
members visit these children’s homes
and become part of their family. Children are
inducted into the group by a short ceremony in which the
victims receive their own vest
and kid’s patch which they get
to choose, along with their own road name.
                                                           
Through B.A.C.A.’s intervention, which ranges
from level one to four, supported children often
develop self-confidence,
diminish regressive behavior, improve communication skills, decrease negative
behaviors and feeling of guilt and are empowered to testify in court.
 
While B.A.C.A. does not provide a crutch for children that could
potentially handicap them,
they do provide a permanent support group for children who desperately
need it.
 
“One of the biggest issues with children who have been
abused is adults have let them down,” said Rabbi. “Adults
have lied to them. Adults have misled them. Once we gain their trust, it
is their imperative
that we never
ever break that trust.”
 
Because B.A.C.A.
works specifically with abused children, it is
no small feat to join its ranks.
 
To join, everyone is
required to go through strict background checks and participate in a one-year minimum
trial period. During this period, they must attend at least 80 percent of
B.A.C.A. rides and events and be voted in unanimously
by the governing board of directors.
Members all receive yearly training as well.
 
As members, they
are completely committed to child victims and each other.
 
“You never know what closeness is until you’re on a level
two,” said Deacon. “When we
get together on
a level two, that’s when our
brotherhood is really strong. We’re there for one
reason and one reason alone, and that is to keep that child
safe.”
 
Level two refers to when members create a presence at the
child’s home to deter further abuse
and protect them.
 
Bear agrees that the commitment is
strong. “There’s no doubt
in my mind that my brothers
and sisters … would stand up
and take a bullet for me,
and every one of
them knows that I would do the
same,” he said. “That’s
brotherhood. ”
 
That’s part of
the reason being bikers “” who are known
for strong sense of community “” is vital to the organization.
 
As Diesel
stated, “We’re one B.A.C.A. We work together in everything we
do.”
                                                           
Senior Devin
Bain, president of the
Social Work Club, was pleased with the event.
 
“I’m really blown away,” she said. “They do a fabulous job,
and I want to be a part of it now.”
 
She hopes that those who attended will take from
it as much as she
did.
 
“I hope that people who atten