“You hear a rumble in the distance. You feel the ground trembling beneath your feet, and then you see them: B.A.C.A."
“They park their motorcycles and introduce themselves. With a short ceremony a child is ‘adopted’ into the B.A.C.A. family.”
Thus begins the informational brochure distributed by B.A.C.A., Bikers Against Child Abuse.
One of the members of the Northwest Indiana Chapter of B.A.C.A. spoke to the Portage Exchange Club, explaining their mission and their methods. Rock—the bikers all go by their road names for security—said that the international organization was formed in 1984 by a man called Chief.
Chief is a licensed play therapist for abused children and saw firsthand the ravages that child abuse can cause.
B.A.C.A. seeks to empower children, so they are no longer afraid of their abusers. They want to break the chains of abuse.
The all-volunteer group provides 24-hour protection if necessary to give children the security they need. This type of presence is a physical impossibility for law enforcement officials.
Their “tough” biker images scares away anyone wanting to hurt a child, but with the children they are tender and supportive.
Teams of two—one man, one woman—provide a physical presences wherever needed, at home, to and from school, even at court if a child is called to testify.
All members undergo an extensive FBI background checked. Many are trained CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates.
The best part of this organization for families of the abused children is that their services are free.
“We have to get the word out,” Rock said. “We can only get involved after a police report has been filed. No child should live in fear.”
For information about B.A.C.A., call 855-543-2131, the Help Line 1-866-71-ABUSE, or go to the website www.bacaworld.org.
Photo: Rock and Portage Exchange Club President Peggy Berbesque