Of all the crimes that exist on this planet, none of them get any more seedy and loathsome than crimes committed against children. The innocence of our kids is what drives the protective nature of parents. With all that creeps and lurks around the corner just waiting to steal that innocence from your kids, parents can be hard-pressed to protect their child on their own.
Sadly, some children do fall through the cracks into the hands of abusers, but just because the damage has been done doesn’t mean there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Kids can speak out against those who’ve hurt them but they can only do so if they feel safe and confident, which is exactly where BACA steps in.
BACA stands for Bikers Against Child Abuse and the organization exists for the sole purpose of keeping kids safe.
The nonprofit was started over 20 years ago by John Paul Lily who is simply known within BACA as “Cheif”. He saw a need among abused children to heal through regaining the insurmountable confidence that it takes to just be a kid again after going through something so traumatic.
Knowing something like that can only be accomplished through making abused kids feel safe again, Chief organized a band of burly bikers to step up and do exactly that by forming an unbreakable pact with these kids.
As a result, kids in the program gain the courage needed to face their abusers in court, because they know that they aren’t facing them alone.
Members of BACA start by riding out for a formal meeting with each kid that decides to become part of the BACA family.
If a child is living in fear of abuse and is scared to leave their home or schools, parents/guardians can arrange to have the child meet and become part of this protected pack. The bikers will ride out either to their home or to a place the child feels safe and introduce themselves.
There is a very ceremonial feel to each child’s first meeting with BACA.
The child is presented with their own biker jacket and a BACA patch sewn into the back that lets all others know they are a member of a very big family that looks out for them. They are then assigned to “primaries” and given their numbers for the child to call on 24/7, whenever they are needed.
They also take a few photos for the child to look at whenever they are feeling uncomfortable, to remind them that they are no longer alone. This is known within BACA as “level 1 intervention”.
Level 2 intervention takes place if their level 1 efforts aren’t enough to discourage further abuse.
This level of intervention involves a much heavier presence of BACA members around the child’s home and places they frequent. Members will also do “awareness rides” through the community, heightening people’s awareness of abusers in their area. They will have a constant presence at times when the family is most open to abuse, and they will even contact law enforcement and give them information on suspicious activity.
When the time comes, members of BACA show up when it’s most important; at the courthouse.
When the time for these kids to face their accusers in front of judge and jury comes, BACA will be there to back them 100%, so long as the judge will allow.
This is perhaps one of the most important steps in protecting these children from further harm.
Kids are already easily intimidated by adults. When it comes to facing one who has already hurt you in a room full of strangers, it can be just as traumatic for them as the original experience. As a result, kids may become too scared or confused to give their full and accurate testimony. This can end up with a child watching their abuser go free and having to live in constant fear that they will seek retribution on them later.
Having a bunch of burly bikers who have sworn to protect you with their very lives, if necessary, can do a lot to bolster an abused child’s confidence when they’re facing the pressures of the justice system process.
One of the BACA mottos hits home the hardest and is a testimony to just why such an organization needs to exist:
“No child deserves to live in fear.”
With chapters of these bikers all across the globe, far fewer children have to. Every member of the organization is a volunteer and there are BACA chapters spread throughout the world. To become a member is no quick and simple task, either. It is a 24/7 commitment to protecting every child from harm whenever and however they can.
New would-be members must adhere to every letter of the BACA Creed and must go through an extensive vetting process and one full year of chapter rides before being accepted. That is how committed the Bikers Against Child Abuse International are to doing their part to ensure that every child they come across feels safe and knows they are never alone.
To learn more about how you can help keep kids safe from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, visit them at their website, and watch the video below to listen to BACA members explain just what it is that they get from serving these kids.