B.A.C.A. looks for bikers, supporters who want to make a difference
|Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) is always prepared to ride into the lives of children to provide support. Learn more about the organization during a presentation at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Pizza Factory in Susanville. Photo by Susan Cort Johnson|
Sept. 9, 2013 — There are many injustices in the world, but few people have found opportunity, ability or means to intercede on behalf of victims. Yet motorcycle riders have discovered strength in numbers and a way to help children in abusive situations through an international organization called “Bikers Against Child Abuse” (B.A.C.A.).
Locally, the Mt. Lassen Chapter provides an opportunity to make a difference in the life of a vulnerable child and ultimately an impact on society. Those who do not ride a motorcycle can join as a supporter.
The public is invited to learn more about participation in B.A.C.A. by attending a presentation at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Pizza Factory in Susanville.
The president of B.A.C.A. Mt. Lassen Chapter, who is known within the organization by his road name, “Big Kidd,” to protect his identity, said he joined when the chapter formed five years ago to make sure children have someone they are comfortable talking to who is not personally involved in the situation. He learned the importance of a third party confidant when his daughter was abused.
Squeekie said she was abused as a child but couldn’t talk about it. “I felt this was an organization that could be there for children. They could come and tell you anything and I never had that,” she explained.
A bond is formed with a child when he or she is brought into the B.A.C.A. family during a visit by members who come to the home, or an arranged meeting location, on their bikes. At that time, the child is given a vest with a road name he or she selected. Two B.A.C.A. members are assigned as the child’s primary contact. Members also interact with the children as a group through such activities as barbecues and parties.
B.A.C.A. offers support at court and parole hearings empowers children to testify. A therapy fund is also available. According to the organization’s brochure, children who participate in B.A.C.A. have increased self-confidence, diminished regressive behaviors, reduced feelings of guilt, decreased negative behaviors, improved communication and they feel safer.
“If you want to make a difference, this is a place to make a difference,” said Jedi.
He saw abuse firsthand, therefore when he was introduced to B.A.C.A. he knew he needed to participate.
Caveman got to know the people involved through a close friend and decided to join. However, his desire to help was also personal, for his granddaughter had been abused.
Not all members of B.A.C.A. Mt. Lassen have a personal story to tell, but all are appalled by abuse and have compassion for children. One member, called “Gertie,” said she joined because she loves children. Another member, called “Ol’ Goat,” said there is too much abuse in society in all forms and B.A.C.A. allows him an opportunity to help the children. The organization’s literature states: “B.A.C.A. takes a firm stand against all forms of child abuse to include physical, sexual, emotional and child porn.”
B.A.C.A. was founded by John Paul “Chief” Lilly, who is a licensed clinical social worker, registered play therapist/supervisor and part-time faculty member at Brigham Young University in Utah. There are chapters in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.
As part of an international organization, B.A.C.A. Mt. Lassen follows all the rules and regulations set in place to protect the children involved as well as members. For example, a liaison for each chapter ensures referrals are already in the legal system and contact with B.A.C.A. is supported by the parent or guardian. Identities of members and children are protected by road names. Before interacting with children members undergo a background check.
Currently B.A.C.A. Mt. Lassen is serving about a dozen children who remain with the organization for as long as they need help and support.
“They leave the group whenever they feel they can move on and don’t need B.A.C.A.’s help anymore,” said Big Kidd.
The money needed to cover the cost of support comes through fundraisers and donations. Anyone wishing to donate to the organization can send funds to: B.A.C.A. Mt. Lassen Chapter, P.O. Box 1092, Susanville, CA 96130.
For help with a child abuse case, call 260-BIKE (2453).
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