Bikers Against Child Abuse: BACA members fight for victimsPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- They look rough and tough. But under the leather, some local motorcycle riders have some big hearts.
Their group is called Bikers Against Child Abuse, or BACA, and they stand by abused children in their darkest hours.
The group exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. Members support victims, and work in conjunction with with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children against child abuse.
"There's too much of it and people are not paying attention," says one member, Pam.
The Valley chapter of BACA is just one of many belonging to an international organization. The non-profit has more than 160 chapters in five countries.
All chapters share a common mission: to support and empower children who've been abused.
"We want to empower them to not be afraid of the world in which they live, and tell their story, and put these people away so they don't hurt any more," says Pam.
The young woman on the back of one bike goes by the name Smiley. She endured a sexual assault, and now works to support other victims.
"I want kids to know, I'm here," says Smiley. "I'm now a BACA supporter. I was a BACA kid. You can make it to where I've made it and keep going. It's not the end of the world. It feels like it, but it's not. They really protected me in the courtroom, and I was really able to get up and speak like the judge asked of me."
BACA members help any child victim who wants it. They take calls and text messages 24/7. And they go to court so a suspect has little opportunity to frighten or intimidate victims.
"Seeing a child face a perp in court and give that impact statement and have the courage to stand up. In all honesty they are the heroes," one member tells us.
BACA members are all volunteers but go through an extensive background check before they are allowed to advocate for children.
For more information, visit bacaworld.org.