Bikers Educate WWU Students About Protecting Children
|4/15/2013||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
Bikers, often seen as tattooed and threatening roughnecks, are using their negative stereotype to protect abused and frightened children.
Thirteen members of Bikers Against Child Abuse, Inc. (B.A.C.A.), an organization of dedicated and compassionate bikers, visited William Woods University April 11 to share their mission.
Their program was sponsored by the WWU social work department, in conjunction with Child Abuse Awareness Month.
The bikers explained that members of B.A.C.A. receive road names to protect their identity from perpetrators. Children they help are also given road names.
B.A.C.A. gives abused children a support group and a permanent family. Children are admitted into “the family” by a short ceremony, during which the child receives his or her own vest, kid's patch and personal road name.
Through intervention levels, which range from level one to four, B.A.C.A. provides children a desperately needed support group. B.A.C.A. members are on call the moment a child needs their support.
Members will also go to court with a child to continue providing support. Children who become part of the B.A.C.A. family exhibit improved communication skills and are empowered to face their abusers in court.
Because the organization aims to protect children, joining B.A.C.A.is no small task. Everyone is required to go through in-depth background checks and participate in a minimum one-year trial period.
“We are from all walks of life,” said Rabbi. “We're bikers, and we have issues with child abuse.”
An international organization, B.A.C.A. has a presence in seven countries. There are 180 chapters within the U.S.; 14 are in Missouri.
According to the bikers, becoming a member of B.A.C.A. is rewarding.
“If I can empower one child to put a perp behind bars, my life is complete,” said Torque.
Senior Stephanie Chism, president of the Social Work club, was pleased with the event.
“To most people, the combination of bikers and survivors of child abuse would never have crossed their mind, but all it takes is one person who cares to see a need and find a way to address it,” she said. “In my own pursuit of a social work career, B.A.C.A. has taught me to use creativity to address needs I observe in society.”
For more information about B.A.C.A., visit www.bacaworld.org. If you or your child needs non-emergency assistance, call the B.A.C.A. helpline at (800) 71ABUSE.
Riding in on their bikes, members of Bikers Against Child Abuse, Inc. (B.A.C.A.) arrive on the William Woods University campus to speak in conjunction with Child Abuse Awareness Month.
Members of Bikers Against Child Abuse, Inc. (B.A.C.A.) visit William Woods University April 11 to share their mission.