motorcycles, travel, friendship, respect… I may drift off into WTF-land at times so hang in there.

What Ever It Takes

G’day

Recently a friend posted a link on FacePlant about Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA). I recalled seeing a stand for BACA at the Laverda Concourse a few years ago.

At the time I was visiting the Concourse on my way to The Ninja’s football game, and didn’t have a lot of  time to stop and chat. With all the excitement of the day I totally forgot all about the Concourse and BACA. My friends post on FacePlant prompted me to revisit the group, and find out more about them.

Who Are BACA

Bikers Against Child Abuse exists solely to make the lives of child abuse victims just that little easier. Formed by Clinical Social Worker, John Paul “Chief” Lilly, in 1995 to provide aid, comfort and support to children that have been sexually, physically, and emotionally abused. BACA has grown quickly and now has chapters in seven (7) countries.

Logo used with permission

Logo used with permission

I’ll plagiarise their Mission Statement:

Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children.
We exist as a body of Bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live.
We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization.
We work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children.
We desire to send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is part of our organization, and that we are prepared to lend our physical and emotional support to them by affiliation, and our physical presence.
We stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse.
We do not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner, however, if circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle preventing a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle.

Members come from all walks of life, they get regular training in areas like childhood trauma and effective communication etc… all are dedicated to supporting abused kids, and helping them back to a normal life.

First Contact

BACA is well-respected and often get referrals from law enforcement and social workers. Once a child is referred, the local chapter set up a meeting and ride to the residence to meet the child and his or her family. The children are introduced to each member and are presented with a BACA vest with patch, stickers, and other gifts that have been donated by the public.

There is no obligation for the child to wear the vest, but many do, as it symbolises them being a part of the biker family.

After the meeting, two members are assigned to the child, these members become the primary point of contact and will provide support and assistance on their road to recovery. This support can be anything from creating a presence at the home of the child to deter further abuse, through to neighbourhood awareness rides and more.

BACA In the News

The Adelaide Adviser News Article

Perth Now News Article

Awareness Rides & Other Services

Awareness rides are centred around the general location of the offender, where members hand out literature to inform the public of what they are all about, but not to ‘out’ the offender. At no time do they engage with the offender, and they will withdraw from an area if the offenders actual location becomes known.

At the request of the child, and/ or with the permission of the parents and the court, BACA representatives will attend court to assist the child in feeling less intimidated, escort them to and from school or errands, and generally help the child become free from fear and return to a normal life

International 100 Mile Ride

Each year BACA holds a 100 mile ride, This year it’s on Saturday May 17.  The rides are to help raise awareness for the fight against child abuse. Just about every chapter world-wide takes part.

This event is often supported not only by the motorcycling community, but by retailers, hotels, resorts, local authorities and many more organisations. It can take the form of a simple ride with a meet at a pub at the end, a poker run or rides followed by entertainment.

It doesn’t matter what you ride, anyone can take part. For more information contact your nearest chapter and see what they are planning.

Want To Get Involved?

Requirements to become a fully patched member of BACA are explained on the BACA website. Generally though, you must have attained 18 years of age, have a motorcycle, and must attend various BACA events for a minimum period of 12 months.

Prospective members must also submit to a background check, and their full membership must be unanimously approved by a board of directors.

It is against BACA policy to charge dues.

At the time of writing BACA have chapters in the United States, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Canada, France and Germany. If you’re interested in joining BACA or just want to know more, visit their website or FaceBook page.

Credits

While writing this post it dawned on me that I should reach out to BACA and make sure I had my facts straight, I really don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. I’m not a member, and to be honest wasn’t sure how an inquiry from some bloke in Australia would be received.

What I found was that they were approachable, professional and patient.

Thanks to Lucy, Ish, SOB and the BACA Executive for pointing me in the right direction.

Respect

Cheers

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