A group of unlikely saviors is changing the lives of victimized children countrywide. Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) is a group of bikers who have united with the shared aim of advocating for and protecting abused minors, and for a kid named Mika, BACA was the lifeline he needed.
BACA is an international non-profit, donation-funded group of volunteer bikers that was founded in Provo, Utah, in 1995. Their members go through a serious background check before they are allowed to ride as part of the group; anybody found to have child or spouse abuse on their record is automatically disqualified.
State meeting in New York Citynewyork.bacaworld.orgFor current chapters, visit bacaworld.org/chapters/
According to Ride Apart, BACA president John Paul “Chief” Lilly is a registered recreational therapist and licensed clinical social worker. Today, BACA is comprised of bikers from all walks of life and is going international with hundreds of members and dozens of chapters.
Once welcomed into the fold, it’s all about going where the help is needed.
“They’re scared little kids,” BACA’s Los Angeles chapter president, nicknamed “Tombstone,” told Crime Watch Daily. “They won’t come out from behind curtains or leave the house or go to school. Some of them are in really bad shape.”
German and Dutch chapters joining forces to empower children. For all current chapters, visit bacaworld.org/chapters/
Shortcake and Solo, L.A. Chapter BACA members and parents to a boy named Mika, reaped the benefits of their own work by employing the chapter to help their son.
Mika was a freshman in high school when he was sexually abused by one of his relatives. He was hospitalized several times, but with support from BACA, Mika has overcome the torment of his abuser, who is now behind bars.
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“I thought nobody would back me up in what I was saying,” Mika admitted. “I actually thought that everyone went through what I went through because it seemed so normalized.”
BACA’s child liaison, “Hoops,” was there for Mika. With support at the end of the telephone line whenever he needed it, Mika’s confidence returned and he felt able to move on from his traumatic experience. “It was actually really important,” Mika said of his contact with Hoops.
Devil's Canyon Chapterwyoming.bacaworld.orgFor current chapters, visit bacaworld.org
The group has become so impactful that law enforcement officials have started referring abused children and their families to BACA for support.
“When we walk out of a courtroom with a little boy that, one month ago, wouldn’t come out from behind closed doors,” Tombstone explained, “he just got off the stand, testified, put the perpetrator away for 52 years, and he walks out in front of us through that perp’s family, then we know we’ve done our job.”
“We go in there with them,” the biker added, “20, 30, 40 of us at a time and sit there. The kid looks at us, concentrates on us, and knows we’re there for them.”
However, BACA is not a vigilante group. “We’re not doing anything against the bad guy,” San Diego’s BACA vice president “Hairy” clarified, speaking to Crime Watch Daily. “That’s not what we’re there for.”
Frontier Chapter in Cheyenne, WYWyoming.bacaworld.orgFor all current chapters, visit bacaworld.org/chapters/
BACA members are dedicated to providing positive support and protection. They’ll do everything from picking kids up from the bus stop to escorting them to and from court, school, or therapy sessions.
If necessary, the bikers provide support to victimized kids 24 hours a day. They send texts, they show up, and they have even played with Barbies and painted their faces in order to bond with their young friends.
Eventually, the kids realize that they are safe with the bikers. “Then you can’t get them out of our arms; you can’t get them off the bikes,” BACA’s security officer “Bikerdad” joked.
Today, these bikers with a cause continue to document their fundraisers on social media and support victimized kids across the country by showing up and empowering them to feel brave again. “We stand in front of them,” said Tombstone. “We shield them from whatever it is they’re afraid of.”
“The kids see that we’re badder than their demons and monsters are,” Tombstone added, grinning. “They have us; they don’t need to be afraid.”
However, the biker said, “our main goal is to work ourselves out of a job!”