By Avra Sullivan
Bikers Against Child Abuse is an international, non-profit organization of dedicated individuals fighting to break the chains of child abuse. Founded in 1995, B. A.C.A. works with state and local police, social services and child advocates to help empower children (from infants up to 18), to no longer live in fear due to abuse. The Southern Maryland Chapter is based here in Queenstown and I spoke to Vice- President Crazy Frog about the organization.
When B.A.C.A. is called upon, they will ride to a child’s house to meet with them and their parent or guardian. No physical contact is ever initiated by a B.A.C.A. member. The child becomes a “member” of the group. They are given a denim vest, with a patch, and B.A.C.A. members give them pins and other patches, often off their own vests. Each child is assigned two B.A.C.A. members that they can call anytime day or night. The child also gets to pick out his or her own “ride name” and from then on is referred to only by that name. B.A.C.A. members always work in teams of at least two. They are never allowed any contact with a child without the consent of both the child and parent.
B.A.C.A. has been involved in cases of physical abuse, bullying, emotional abuse and sexual abuse. When a child abuse case goes to court, the child often must face the abuser. B.A.C.A. members are allowed into the courtroom. They stand as a “barrier” between the abuser and the child. The child can look and keep their focus on their fellow B.A.C.A. members during proceedings. B.A.C.A . members do not know details about the case. They are there to support the child and help them to feel comfortable in what can be a frightening experience.
B.A.C.A. meetings are open to the public and interested parties may join. However, there is a strict criterion to becoming a member. They must be 18 years or older and, own or have access to a motorcycle. Fingerprinting and a full background check are done. They also have a minimum of one year period before they can be voted in as a full “patched” member. Voting must be unanimous.
On Saturday, August 18th, the local chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse will host its first event in the area. This family friendly event will take place at Rams Head Shore House, in Stevensville, from 2-6pm. There will be 50/50 raffle, silent auction, great food and drinks and more. This is a free admission event, however if you donate $5 you can receive happy hour drink prices at Rams Head.
B.A.C.A. is a 100% volunteer organization. Fuel, bridge tolls, travel expenses, traveling to court dates, motorcycle repairs, vests and patches are all self-funded. They will also fund a child’s therapy if not covered by others and it is deemed necessary. Donations are gladly accepted and can be mailed directly to B.A.C.A. P.O Box 57 Mayo, MD 21106. More information about B.A.C.A. can be found at www.bacaworld.org or by calling 410-212-9642.
NO CHILD DESERVES TO LIVE IN FEAR