Your Heartfelt Moment of the Day: Bikers Against Child Abuse

Trigger warning for talk of childhood physical and sexual abuse.

BACA is taking a unique stand against childhood sexual abuse by working with child survivors and helping them reclaim their strength.

Even kids know that nobody messes with bikers. Bikers look big, and strong, and mean, both in real life and in how they are portrayed on television and in films. They are easy riders, sons of anarchy, not afraid of anything. And they take care of their own.

A child who has been abused by someone bigger and stronger knows too well what it feels like to be small and vulnerable. BACA shifts that balance by putting even bigger and stronger people – and more of them – on the child’s side.

And if those even-bigger and stronger people are scary-looking too, perhaps with flaming-skull tattoos, chains on their belts and scars of questionable origin, so much the better.

“The biker image is what makes this work,” says Rembrandt, 54, who is tall and wiry strong. “Golfers against child abuse does not have the same feel. The pink alligator shirt and golf shoes standing in the driveway doesn’t do the same thing.”

(No offense to golfers. Some bikers golf, too.)

What Rembrandt knows is that a biker’s power and intimidating image can even the playing field for a little kid who has been hurt. If the man who hurt this little girl calls or drives by, or even if she is just scared, another nightmare, the bikers will ride over and stand guard all night.

If she is afraid to go to school, they will take her and watch until she’s safely inside.

And if she has to testify against her abuser in court, they will go, too, walking with her to the witness stand and taking over the first row of seats. Pipes will tell her, “Look at us, not him.” And when she’s done, they will circle her again and walk her out.

:sniffles: Oh my god, that brave kid, and those generous bikers.

Pipes recalls going to court with an 8-year-old boy, and how tiny he looked on the witness stand, his feet dangling a foot off the floor.

“It’s scary enough for an adult to go to court,” he says. “We’re not going to let one of our little wounded kids go alone.”

In court that day, the judge asked the boy, “Are you afraid?” No, the boy said.

Pipes says the judge seemed surprised, and asked, “Why not?”

The boy glanced at Pipes and the other bikers sitting in the front row, two more standing on each side of the courtroom door, and told the judge, “Because my friends are scarier than he is.”

 What a great, amazing program. <3 <3 <3

Comments

  1. Cheryl says

    I can only imagine how much it helps the kids to know they have Big, Tough Guys to protect them. What a fabulous, fabulous program.

  2. Red says

    Another thing to point out in the article; they do background checks on EVERYONE who wants to join. Which includes finger-printing, checking for arrest records, etc. Plus NO ONE BIKER is allowed to be alone with a kid. They go in pairs or more.

    I find this both very reassuring and practical. Which means anyone who tries to get in with ‘less-than-honorable’ intentions will have to go through the gauntlet and even then, they won’t be allowed to be alone.

  3. says

    Cheryl,

    When I was a kid, I had a situation where someone kept trying to molest me and I kept telling him no. He finally tried it on in a public space, maybe thinking I wouldn’t make a scene. I made a HUGE scene, shouting out a pretty vivid description of what he was doing, and getting a lot of stares. Most people just looked bewildered, but I will never forget this fairly burly, tough-looking guy who glared really malevolently at my abuser. He understood, and he was PISSED.

    I don’t think the abuser forgot it either; he never attempted to touch me again. But what I got from that moment was that my abuser was NOT bulletproof, and I could make more powerful people than he see him for what he was.

    The bikers are manufacturing something like this moment for the kids who won’t just stumble into it for themselves, and it’s absolutely brilliant. I know they can’t reach every single kid, BUT they are sending a strong counter-message to the one rape culture sends. Rape culture tells abusers that all they need to do is get married, get a profession, join their culture’s dominant religion, maybe do some charity stuff, and then they will be shielded for decades while they harm child after child (see: Sandusky). These bikers are sending the message that even when people have the backing institutions like Penn State or the Church, you have this rogue element that isn’t known for caring about the law or giving a damn about your institutional glory, and they want your hide, you pervert.

    It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. I’m trying to figure out how to donate to the organization – I found this page http://www.bacausa.com/Internet/Merchandise.php but I can’t see how to donate to ALL chapters from the drop down. If anyone’s interested, I’ll let you know – I’m thinking I might make calls or something over the next few days to find out what to do.

    I would also like to put up a sort of donation button on the site, and let people donate directly to them, for as long as the button is up. So we’ll see what can be worked out.

  4. says

    Red,

    They seem to have had some really good advice from people who work with child victims. In the article, the leader reminds the others: don’t initiate a hug (only a child can do that), don’t cry, don’t get caught up in your own emotions. These rules are essential in psychotherapy sessions – the child has to feel it’s all about her, and that she’s safe to express herself. These people have definitely done their research and are getting it right. I’m just so amazed by them.

  5. Dani says

    Jennifer Kesler:
    Cheryl,

    I would also like to put up a sort of donation button on the site, and let people donate directly to them, for as long as the button is up. So we’ll see what can be worked out.

    I think that’s a great idea.

  6. says

    Dani,

    I’ve written them to see if they want to put something like that together, or anything else that would work similarly. I also told them I’m hopeful if they do it (like a PayPal button coded to their PayPal account), other bloggers might happily put it on their sites, too. These guys really deserve to go viral!

  7. says

    As far as doantions go yur best bet is to donate to the chapter nearest you, as a 501 C3 all chapters are responsible for thier own fund raising efforts and the chapters support the international board.
    So my suggestion would be to look at the chapters link on the website select your state and see which chapter is nearest you and make a donation there.

    Thanks for all the kind words.
    B.A.C.A. Popeye
    President Seven Coves Chapter
    TX.

  8. says

    B.A.C.A. Popeye, thanks so much for the quick response! I’ve been in touch with Scootr, and was advised to use this page:

    http://www.bacausa.com/Internet/Merchandise.php

    And for those who aren’t in a region that has a chapter, you can choose “BACA International Chapter”, which is found alphabetically in the dropdown. I’m going to put up a link in the sidebar as soon as I get a chance to put it all together, but in the meantime, there’s the link for anyone who wants to help. :)

    And for anyone who wants to help but can’t afford a donation, please hit those Retweet and Like buttons at the top and spread the word! That helps, too!

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