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Local bikers take a stand against child abuse by forming B.A.C.A. group

7:46 AM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- It's a worldwide, non-profit organization aimed at helping children who've been abused.

All their members wear leather, some have tattoos and all of them ride motorcycles.

The group is called "Bikers Against Child Abuse," or B.A.C.A.

They have chapters in Italy, Holland, Canada, all over the United States, and now, for the first time, there's one in Northeast Ohio.

That means the next time a local child is abused, local B.A.C.A. members may be called up by the court system or by family services to support and empower the child.

And it's easy to see, this organization is really changing lives.

Maybe it's the leather.

Maybe it's the tattoos.

"You know everyone has those stereotypes, biker clubs and biker this and biker that," says one biker, code name "Ginger."

But how about bikers as "keepers of the children" or Bikers Against Child Abuse?

"We got love for kids and there's no reason a child should live in fear," says B.A.C.A. member, "Jammer."

"We empowered the children to be a child," says B.A.C.A. member "Floppy."

"You see these big, huge, burly guys and their tattoos and some have long hair some have shaved heads, and everyone is there for the same cause and the same reason," says "Ginger."

That reason, quite simply, is to support and empower children who've been abused, children like "Snake."

"At first, I felt so scared and so afraid," says "Snake."

"Snake" is 9 years old, in fourth grade. He was abused by someone close to his family, and just recently, B.A.C.A. members from all over Ohio came to Northeast Ohio for his "adoption" ceremony into the B.A.C.A. family.

"Hearing the rumble of the pipes and hearing the bikes come down the road. We all stopped and said, here they come."

Imagine what that sounds like. Imagine what it feels like when you realize all that noise, all these leather clad bikers are here for you, here to keep you safe.

"We don't condone violence in any form, but we will protect that child at all costs," says "Jammer."

"I felt really happy and really protected," says "Snake."

Part of becoming a full-fledged, B.A.C.A. member includes a code name, a warm blanket, a vest and the ultimate biker accessory, a teddy bear.

"Everybody here is gonna hug this bear, okay?" says "Jammer" to "Snake" during the adoption ceremony. "Anytime you feel afraid, scared, whatever, you hug that bear."

"When we saw his little face light up, there wasn't a dry eye in the area. Big huge guys were standing behind me and you hear sniffling," says "Ginger."

"Jammer" then tells "Snake," "So from here forward, you just be a kid, and you do that kid thing, and you let us take care of everything else for you."

Part of that new support system includes B.A.C.A. members accompanying the child to court, in case he or she needs to testify against their abuser.

"Go on that stand and say what you've got to say. There's nothing to be afraid of. We're here. Nobody's going to hurt you. It's all good," says "Jammer."

So when "Snake" does testify, when he looks out in that courtroom, he will see "Trouble," "Floppy," "Ginger," "Jammer" and several other men and women looking back at him, giving him strength.

"It's a tough thing," says "Jammer." "Don't let anybody tell you bikers don't shed tears. Bikers shed tears."

"Yeah," says "Snake," "I feel like I don't have to be afraid of anything now because I have them, the B.A.C.A."

When asked what "Snake" wants to be when he grows up, he says he wants to be "a B.A.C.A."

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