All for the kids

Bikers Against Child Abuse gives power to kids in tough circumstances.

‘Colonel’

On the surface, they look tough: a dozen leather-clad bikers roaring along the street, helmets and aviator-type sunglasses obscuring their faces, bearing names like Grizzly, Colonel and Deadly.

To the children they empower, however, they are heroes.

Fifteen members of the mid-Vancouver Island chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse held a public session in Port Alberni on Sunday, visiting with children and training for the day they will have to accompany an abused child to court.

“We exist with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children, said “Colonel,” the mid-Island chapter’s vice-president. (BACA members use nicknames to stay anonymous, protecting children’s and their own privacy)

“We exist as a body of bikers that empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live.”

BACA members are fathers, grandfathers, mothers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles. They are members of motorcycle gangs, and they are individual riders who simply want to help children.

(story continues below)

Colonel is a father, a grandfather and an uncle. He was abused in his past, he said, and got involved so he can protect other children going through similar situations.

“For the first time in my life I’ve seen something that will help an abused child,” he said. “Because empowerment is much more powerful than I ever realized.”

The mid-Island BACA chapter has so far only been training, although members like Colonel have accompanied other chapters on escorts. BACA is a 20-year-old non-profit organization, formed in the United States by a licensed clinical social worker who recognized there were gaps in the system when it came to protecting children and providing funding for therapy.

With BACA, the child always comes first.

There are specific training methods members learn for intervention, child and court liaison training. They work with government agencies to protect children going through the court system, and provide support to children and their families that other organizations cannot provide. Moreover, they “adopt” these children into their BACA family.

Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan met a couple of chapter members last month when they came to the detachment to ask for some criminal record checks on members—every BACA member has to pass the “vulnerable sector” portion of a police record check, she said.

“We certainly got a good feeling with these fellows. There’s no information they provided to us that caused us to have any concerns about their message or intentions,” Allan said.

“If this is one avenue where there’s a number of ‘big brothers’ that…could impact a child in a positive manner, that’s a good thing,” she said.

“We certainly will work with them when they come into the community.”

Above all, says Colonel, BACA is not about violence. Members who accompany children to court are non-confrontational and respectful of all law enforcement personnel and rules, he said.

“There’s a video on YouTube of a motorcycle gang chasing a guy down and beating him up. That’s not us.

“That’s not what we do.”

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

 

Just Posted

BCHL: Bulldogs beat Cowichan in double OT

Teams are 1–1 in three-game home-and-home stand; play in Cowichan Jan. 20

Port Alberni city council to ‘stay on course’ for five-year budget plan

Next budget meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m

Alberni businesses nominated for Island excellence

Coulson Ice Blast, Port Posh Wash, the Blue Marlin Inn and Totem… Continue reading

BCHL: Speedy left winger commits to Bulldogs

Forward Ethan Jang will be suiting up for the 2018-19 season

Rollin Art Centre open now

Make sure to renew your Community Arts Council membership

Parksville MakerSpace members ride the rails

New room added for model train enthusiasts; workshop set for Jan. 21

Wind warning back in effect around Vancouver Island

80 km/h winds expected Saturday, Jan. 20, on east coast of Island, 100 km/h on west coast

Man receives four-year sentence for stabbing Good Samaritan near Qualicum Beach

Jeffrey Brian MacDonald sentenced to additional 242 days in jail

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

UPDATE: BC Transit’s handyDart service strike delayed

LRB application by contractor means new strike notice must be issued by union

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Most Read