Railway City bikers chapter unites to help abused children

NORTH PERTH – Bikers in the area are doing a whole lot of good by aiding children of abuse through one of the toughest times of their lives.

In a recent interview with the Banner, Public Relations and Agency Liaison for the local Railway City Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.), Rayz-N, explained the mission of B.A.C.A., in hopes of shedding some light on the organization.

“B.A.C.A. exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. No child deserves to live in fear,” states the B.A.C.A. mission statement.

B.A.C.A. is a volunteer non-profit organization that began in Utah in 1995, and has grown to over 19 countries worldwide, with six chapters in Ontario. The Railway City Chapter, based out of St. Thomas, covers a large area, including North Perth. B.A.C.A. was founded by a licensed clinical social worker, registered play therapist/supervisor and part time faculty member of Brigham Young University.

How the B.A.C.A. process works is a parent or guardian will contact the organization, which will then be handed over to a child liaison. After contacting B.A.C.A., the liaison verifies the case has been reported and meets the criteria to which then B.A.C.A. can lend a hand. B.A.C.A.’s mission is very narrow and includes a criteria for taking only a certain amount of cases as each case must meet their mission statement. One of the speculations is that the abuser cannot be living with the child, as B.A.C.A. cannot then promise safety. Further, the abuse must have been officially reported. The executive board will then discuss whether B.A.C.A. can take on the case. If so, they then interview the child, and ask the child if they want to be a part of their B.A.C.A. family. If yes, they begin the Level 1 intervention. There are two levels of intervention that B.A.C.A. does. The first level is the initial ride to the child’s house or safe space, where the entire Chapter will pull up on their motorcycles. Each child then gets a road vest, or a ‘kutte’ (pronounced ‘cut’), with a road name they choose. The children don’t know the bikers’ real names and vice versa, as they all now go by their road names. The child is then welcomed into the B.A.C.A. family for the rest of their life.

“Once that kutte goes on to their back, they’re a part of our pack, and they know it,” stated Rayz-N.

The second level of intervention is to deter further abuse and protect the child and their family.

“We also attend court with our wounded friends. The sole purpose for our physical presence is to assist the child in being less intimidated and frightened, and subsequently give accurate testimony regarding his or her abuse,” states the B.A.C.A. website.

Two primaries are assigned to each child and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They work in conjunction with local and provincial officials who are already in place to protect the child.

“Prior to becoming the primary contacts for the child, the bikers are cleared for participation by passing an extensive background check, have ridden with the Chapter for at least a year, and have received special instructions from the Licensed Mental Health Professional,” reads the website.

“We come to children in the darkest days they will ever know. And I mean, we sit in court with them, we hear what they’ve been through. And they take our hands and they trust us. We walk them to the light and let them go,” explains Rayz-N.

B.A.C.A. is with them until the court case clears, but the children are a part of the family for the rest of their lives.

“After they are done with us, they are on the mend. They have gone from victim to survivor,” expressed Rayz-N.

“Once a B.A.C.A. child always a B.A.C.A. child.”

“Our mission is not to be permanently engaged as the child’s power. Our mission is to help the children and their families learn how powerful they can be,” states the website.

This persona of a ‘biker’ gives the organization the ability to do what they do.

“That persona helps us, because nobody wants to cross someone in leather and chains,” stated Rayz-N.

However, it doesn’t help with public perception. These bikers dedicate their time to aiding these abused children and ensuring their safety. They put the child first and work towards rebuilding the child’s self esteem and confidence. They invite the child into their ‘biker’ family with the hopes of helping them through one of the toughest times of the child’s life.

“We get way more out of B.A.C.A. than we could ever give back,” explained Rayz-N.

To learn more about B.A.C.A.’s Railway City Chapter, call 1-877-231-3478 or email infor@rc-can.bacaworld.org.

Melissa Dunphy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner