Picture this - a young child sitting frightened in a courtroom staring at the man who sexually abused her. Now imagine her looking to her right, where, seated in the audience, are thirty huge, tattooed bikers supporting her, letting her know she does not have to be afraid of him anymore.

Child abuse does not end with the dastardly deed. Fear, withdrawal from society and psychological scars plague the child often sending them spiraling down a pathway to destruction before they ever reach adulthood. Worse, often the child is once more confronted by the perpetrator, aimed at intimidating the vulnerable child against continuing revealing the truth.

Therapist John Paul Lilly realized this while trying to help children and decided that something unique had to be done to undo the fears that were destroying these children from within and without.
Sometimes to get rid of monsters, you need to put on the robes of that which monsters fear. And so, he started Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) in 1995, a non-profit, tax exempt group aimed at empowering victims of child abuse.



Bikers Against Child Abuse BACA

These big, burly bikers work with no salary, escorting children to school and sitting at court hearings, in essence being their personal bodyguards. They have stayed guard outside houses at night, protecting mothers and children from abusive fathers. They arrive on play dates, organize parties and barbecues and slowly help the child heal and trust once more.

The message to offenders is clear - "This child is one of us now. No harm shall ever fall upon her again."

Bikers Against Child Abuse BACA help empower children and integrate them back into society


The child, however, is taught to have no fear around these big strangers as he/she is made a part of the bikers club (complete with an orientation session meeting all of them, getting matching jackets and gifts), bonding with them and slowly reintegrating back into society. The child is now one of them and knows they will never allow any harm to come to him/her.

Their methods may seem unorthodox but have been successful to such an extent that today, BACA has multiple state branches within the USA and is even present internationally in 12 other countries, coming to the aid of children across the world. They get their referrals directly from the police themselves besides child care agencies and scared guardians.

Why I want you to remember Bikers Against Child Abuse

I found the idea of B.A.C.A brilliant. The negative stereotype of intimidating bikers in groups is used to scare away vicious predators while simultaneously, the tender nature of these riders is revealed to the children who slowly gain their confidence back, knowing they are loved and cared for once more.

Have a few minutes? Check out the video below of a real-life story of survival because of BACA. 
Don't have a few minutes? Still check it out.



You can read more about them at their site here.


Bikers Against Child Abuse


This is part of my #AtoZChallenge where I will be focusing on Real Life Heroes: Shining Examples of Kindness and Compassion. You can find other real-life heroes here.

84 Comments

Vidya Sury said…
Truly brilliant, Roshan! I love these Bikers! I wish every society had protection like this. I can imagine the sense of confidence they give. That doesn't make the child abuse okay, but at least it will stop others from even thinking about it, considering who they'll have to deal with.
Namy said…
What an Badass initiative! Thank you sharing it with us..
Anmol Rawat said…
They are really heroes. Again, thank you for throwing light on such people. You have one of the best themes for this a to z challenge. I think each one of us can put our efforts in one way or the other and we should not shy away from it. It is true what you said about people stereotyping Bikers in general. It just proves that each individual is different and we should never generalize.
Good work brother :)
Vinodini Iyer said…
What a brilliant idea this is! I can imagine how secure the victims might be feeling in their presence. I actually had goosebumps when the the first biker walked in.:)
Love this theme, look forward to a month of being inspired!
Massive Respect!! I wish... desperately wish that they were everywhere, esp in our country. Salute to them!
Vinay Leo R. said…
What a wonderful idea, and a wonderful group of people too! :-) I had a big smile as I read this, and definitely will be back for the post on C. I love your theme for the A to Z, doc.
This is awesome, and Badass I'm just the right way! Loved knowing about these Gentle Giants :) Thanks for sharing, Doc.
Sadly, with so many vigilante groups around in India, not one is bothered to do something productive like this. This, unlike the ones here, is a legitimate non-profit group that works of their own volition because they genuinely care.
That's pretty much the word that popped in my head too when I read about them - bad-ass! :)
Thanks man. And yes, the general stereotype when we see a group of bikers riding in is one of fear and intimidation. But look at how brilliantly BACA has used it to help bring the children out of their isolation and make them feel empowered again. Loved that.
I sincerely hope more people do watch the video. Gives a better picture of BACA than I ever could hope to do.
And I look forward to inspiring.
Our country desperately needs something like BACA. The statistics of child abuse are horrible.
Thanks Vinay. Hope to keep inspiring for this month.
hehe.. Gentle giants is the right word for the kids. For the offenders, they remain scary as hell, i presume :D
Jaibala Rao said…
This is so amazing! Unorthodox but simply fabulous. They make the survivors feel like they belong again, and that is what helps the healing process, the sense of belonging. It feels good to know that there are people for you who always have your back! And I agree, we really need something like that here, I am sure victim shaming will stop if we have sometime like the BACA.
Healing inside out is important.That only comes with feeling safe again.I can understand how powerful something like this can be in India.Maybe we can start one.!But I cant ride a bike !Dr.Roshan let me know how we can do this even if not a biker!Seriously
Kalpanaa M said…
This is a fabulous initiative. Truly badass.
Happy A to Z ing
Blame #Lexicon of Leaving
Pooja Tripathi said…
You gave me ideas for the Bachpan Project
Shalini said…
This is great! Unorthodox and badass! I would not have heard of them, if not for you. Wish we had something like this here! Much-needed!
Thailand Travel Stories at Kohl Eyed Me
26 Indian Dishes at Something's Cooking
Wow! Wow, this is fantastic. Is there anything similar to this in India? I'm guessing no even before you answer, so lemme ask this: Is there any way we can start something like this in India?
Swathi Shenoy said…
I had only one thought while reading the post - WOW!!! Respect to those bikers. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring tale

Brother
Geetika Gupta said…
This is so cool, doctor! Being badass and yet being so good about it!
And the way they support the girls by being around them, helping them, cheering them up, play dates and stuff.. all of this is just fabulous!

Cheers
BoisterousBee

Shilpa Garg said…
Wow! This is such a fantastic initiative. Simply love the way these bikers are working on so many levels for little children. Kudos to them!!
Suzy said…
Awesome. The world needs more people like them. Salute!
Ramya Abhinand said…
What a lovely way to work towards the cause. Wish there are more people like them for other causea too
Such a kind initiative. Children are our future. Child abuse is hence the most heinous crime. Kudos to these heroes.
Anmol Rawat said…
Absolutely :)
Soumya said…
What a beautiful initiative! How do we get them to India now? :)

Hats off to you for your brilliant research Doc! Such people deserve to be heard more.
Aditi said…
Just brilliant!! I am awed and inspired!
bellybytes said…
Once again an alternative therapy that I loved. What a heartwarming story ...especially the contrast between the big burly bad bikers and their really soft protective hearts...
This is absolutely wow! I can only imagine the wonderful world they are creatings thanks to their kindness. Do we have something like this in india? do they have a branch here? I wish we would be organised and stand together against abuse of any & all kinds!
Sanch Writes said…
That's an amazing concept. It's such good work being done by bikies. I see kids/teens with PTSD thanks to child sexual abuse, neglect, emotional or physical abuse and some of their stories are so heartbreaking it makes you question the fairness of life {yes, life is unfair but still...}. Stories like these give me hope...

http://www.sanchwrites.com/2017/04/brevette-stories/
Deepa said…
How nice! Another inspirational post. It is a great initiative taken by the bikers. I wish there were more people like them.
I seriously don't know how successful we'd be here. We'd have to deal with so many cultural issues that will override the good these people try to do. I fear even mothers and fathers will not come forward to protect the child, just to save the family name.
Thanks. Same to you :)
Go for it. We could use your creativity to change the outlook of this country.
I really wish we could help start something like this in India. But I fear it's a lot harder here as I explained in the comments above. Our own culture and need to save the family name hinders our way of life.
Well, that depends on Indians taking up the challenge, isn't it? We need riders here to stand up and say 'yes. These kids matter.'
I had a few options for the letter B but I wanted to showcase BACA to Indian audiences because of how unique they are.
Exactly. Not at all what you'd expect. And that makes it even better.
Something you'd never expect when you see a gang of Bikers ride in, isn't it?
Yes. Especially in our country, we need more groups like this.
Maybe we could round up some bloggers, spread awareness, start a campaign or something?
Rajlakshmi said…
Loved the contrast of intimidating bikers and their extremely kind act of protecting kids. This is new to me. thank you for sharing.
Roshan, this was the best post for me today. I confess I cried with some sentimentality as I read about how they work without salary. These are the real superheroes and may we have more of them everywhere. I wish there wasn't a need for them but since perverts and pedophiles abound, this isn't likely. So let's make do with what we have. Thank you for showing us this extraordinary story.

*B for Beautiful: Shailaja/The Moving Quill*
Ruchi Singh said…
I want to be part of this gang and yes I know how to drive a bike!!!
God bless you Roshan for bringing such hopeful things to us. This is one of the best post I have read till date.
We really need these kind of biker volunteers in India also. Humanity still persists though its modern era
thanks for sharing :) Bloom up Your Motherhood – What to expect during the First trimester of Pregnancy
Modern Gypsy said…
Brilliant! The stereotype of a biker is a big, bad man you should be scared of. That they are using this stereotype to their advantage, to come to the aid of child abuse victims, is simply awesome!
Nothing is impossible. Once ATOz is done, we bloggers need to get together online and see what we can do as a positive change
Sadly, we are definitely failing at protecting them in our own country.
It isn't about getting them to India. It is about Indian bikers taking up the initiative :( Sadly, I don't see that happening.
:) So was I when I read about them.
hehe... this is one alternative therapy I will endorse as a doctor!
They don't have a branch in India. And as I mentioned in earlier comments, I don't know how welcoming we would be to a branch too. Which is disheartening.
life is unfair.. we need to work extra hard to make it fair for these kids instead of just giving in and letting them hurt.
I assure you there are :)
Glad to raise awareness on this
Thanks Shailaja... yes, I wish we lived in a world where they were not needed. Sadly, I guess I will never get to see that day.
I don't know to ride a bike but hey, I'd gladly be your pillion if they induct us in :D
yes. That does seem to be the popular opinion... that India needs BACA
yup. exactly why I chose them as my letter B.
Reema D'souza said…
This is such a wonderful initiative! IT is really wonderful on your part for bringing out these stories.
Cathy Graham said…
How wonderful that they are doing this! Not only do they protect the poor abused children and their families, they lift the stigma against bikers being seen as mean and abusive, themselves. Great story, Roshan. So uplifting!
Wow! They are such nobel badasses. I love them. This is called real work. I have shared this with my biker group. Thanks a lot for sharing such wonderful facts.
Parul said…
What a fabulous initiative and so glad you shared this. Wouldn't have known otherwise. I wish in India too, people let go of the WIIFM and do something meaningful than fighting over beef and temples.
Mithila Menezes said…
Reading about BACA and watching the video made me realise that there are a few good people in this world, and thanks to them miracles happen, and life is good for so many people due to the selfless acts by them! It's a brilliant initiative, and honestly, I'd rather have a strong and trustworthy biker like them support me than any other cape-wearing hero!
Thanks Cat. I know. That is what attracted me to this story.
Glad to hear that :) Nobel bad-asses, is the right term, I guess :D
Exactly na... we cant move on from such boring topics.
I actually was thinking of them as a form of Justice League or AVengers... :)
Anita said…
Great work by BACA! Like superheroes they come to the rescue & empower.
More power to them!
One of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. True superheroes, Tombstones and his fellow bikers!
Ruchi Singh said…
Anytime :D
jaish_vats said…
Amazing initiative... Got reminded of Erin Brochovich movie where a biker looks after julia roberts three kids.... Have no words to describe the admiration and respect i feel for these men
Somewhere, someone is actually doing this! I am glad you started this doctor! :)
Literally, real life super heroes.
Tina Basu said…
This is badass - yet such a beautiful initiative.
Dev Baidya said…
Amazing initiative.