Grants Pass- Not all super heroes wear capes, sometimes they wear leather.
“We’re available whenever they call,” said Big Mac, BACA Vice President of the Wild River Coast Chapter.
Meet the bikers from bikers against child abuse, BACA for short. They’re an international organization that serves to protect abused children.They may look rough and tough on the outside but that’s the point.
“If you are a young child whose been abused and are going through a court case, who would you want to help protect you, a group of bikers or a bunch or golfers in their shorts and tennis shoes. It’ll probably the biker that will help and that’s the biker community,” said Big Mac.
They’re a brotherhood, filled with men and women who share one goal, to create a safe environment for abused children. Whether it’s physical or emotional support, the bikers are there to shield children from further harm.
“We help them remove their fear, help them heal, help them learn how strong they can be,” Big Mac said.
For many children going into court can be frightening and terrifying, that’s when BACA steps in. BACA members will escort the child into the courtroom and serve as a protective barrier between the child and their perpetrator.
“Our goal is to empower them and remove their fear going through the judicial process,” Big Mac said.
They want the child to be able to feel safe telling their story.
“We’re there with love and support,” Big Mac said.
Local and state agencies communicate with BACA chapters to connect them with the abused child. From there, BACA brings the child into their biker family.
“Once they join our brotherhood and they get a sense that we will protect them with the same tenacity and commitment that we would with any of our brothers that is empowering that helps remove their fear,” said Big Mac.
And to look the part each child receives their own vest, road name and teddy bear.
“We tell the child if that bear every runs low on hugs or runs out of hugs just give us a call, we will all come back up and fill it back up for you,” Big Mac said.
It’s love that keeps them going.
“There’s not one of us that is compensated for doing what we do, but we all have a heart to help children,” Big Mac said.
And a child’s smile that makes it all worth it.
“Once you make that connection with a child, that’s our payday that’s when you get the satisfaction of riding in the rain, riding the long hours that we do, being on call 24 hours a day,” Big Mac said.
– Photojournalist Karen Tang