Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"thank you for protecting children"

Our local B.A.C.A. chapter had another Level 1 "adoption" ceremony this past Sunday. The little girl that needs our support lives almost two hours away. Because TT had a major homework assignment he needed help with, I had to stay home to wrangle the kids. Mr. Amazing went on his motorcycle though and was a part of the process to empower this wounded child so she can testify against her abuser.

Following the Level 1 ceremony, a bunch of B.A.C.A. members went out to lunch together.

It's a unique experience going out in "public" as a large group of bikers. After all, "bikers" have a reputation and not everyone knows what B.A.C.A. stands for. All they see is a group of people wearing their cuts (vests) and they don't know any better. Sometimes it's a bit intimidating.

B.A.C.A. members are required to "look the part". Even though the entire organization is built on the idea of non-violence, we are supposed to look like bikers. Khakis, a polo, brown loafers, and a scooter won't cut it.
Mr. Amazing and another member of our chapter were sitting together at a table. While eating, a young girl approached them and said, "Thank you for protecting children." Everyone was quite touched. I believe they were able to give this girl a few temporary tattoos that said B.A.C.A. on them. (We often keep things like this in our vests to give to kids at Level 1 ceremonies and other "kid" events.) I got goosebumps when Mr. Amazing told me the story. I'm so proud to be a part of this organization!

The very next day, our chapter received a referral via the international B.A.C.A. website.

Apparently, the young girl that thanked my husband has a big sister that was with her that afternoon. When the young girl approached the B.A.C.A. members, all her big sister could do was sit back and cry.

According to the email that was sent in, the big sister has recently been abused. She's awaiting information on the trial that is to come. She's scared to death to have to testify. The child's parent asked if we, B.A.C.A., could go with her to court.

Our organization will now vet the situation. We require that anyone we help be involved in the legal system. We are not vigilantes. We work WITH the police and other law enforcement. We meet with the family and make sure our organization is a fit for what they need.

These are the kinds of kids we want to help though. Hopefully we will be able to bring her into our fold. We will help her see that we've got her back. We'll be a part of her life as long as she needs us and we will all show up in the courtroom when she has to testify.

I firmly believe God sent our B.A.C.A. chapter to that very restaurant at that very time so this connection could be made. That gives me goosebumps too.


Anonymous said...

I've learned about this organization through you and BACA is AMAZING! I love that this organization is around to help children. If I've ever wished I were it biker, it is now so I could join BACA and help, too. I'm glad you're bringing them more attention.

VJ said...

That is so cool that BACA was able to connect with this young woman. I'm wondering if the men in this organization ever intimidate children who have been abused by men? It makes sense that you want to present a "biker" look because then the kid feels like they have "tough guys" on their side, but do they ever request women to accompany them?

Cherub Mamma said...

Before every Level 1 ceremony there is a briefing meeting that EVERYONE is required to attend. If you are late to the meet spot and aren't able to make the briefing meeting - you do NOT get to attend the Level 1.

At these briefings, the Child Liason (a B.A.C.A. person intimate with the child and the case) lets everyone know the basics behind why we are involved. We are NOT given intimate case details. However, we will find out who the perp is and what the child is afraid of. Any possible triggers are discussed. A plan is put into place to make sure no one in B.A.C.A. knowingly triggers a child. If the girl, for example, is afraid of men, the men stay back when we introduce ourselves to the kids. The women will go forward and the men will stand behind us. We also typically get down on one or both knees so that we are lower than the children. Every effort is taken to keep from frightening the children!

No one in B.A.C.A. ever initiates any sort of physical contact with the child. We usually know ahead of time if they want to "fist bump" or not because these things have been discussed with the Child Liason and the family.

B.A.C.A. assigns every child two "Primaries". These Primaries are the contacts that will stay with the B.A.C.A. child during the Level 1. They are also the contacts the child will have whenever they need us. The kids are told they can call their Primary at ANY TIME, day or night. Special care is taken to try and match the child to B.A.C.A. members well. Very, very, very often...girls are given female Primaries and boys are given male Primaries.

B.A.C.A. also has a VERY strict "two-patch rule". At NO TIME is a B.A.C.A. child EVER to be with only one B.A.C.A. member. Ever! The children in B.A.C.A. are often told these things so that they know all the precautions we put in place to keep them safe. (To make things even more safe...my husband and I count as only "one patch" when we are together. The two patches must be unrelated and not romantically involved.)

So yes, to answer your short question with a long answer...women play a strong role in B.A.C.A. and often are the ones the children make the most contact with (especially the girls).

Anonymous said...

I commented earlier and the more I hear about this organization, the more impressed I am. I hope you'll put that information from your answer above on FB or in a regular blog post so everyone can read it. Such an impressive group! --And all the more reason not to judge a book by its leather, bike-clad cover. :)

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