That’s the mission behind Bikers Against Child Abuse, or BACA, and the reason the Kanawha Valley chapter of roughly 10 motorcyclists is walking child abuse victims to school this week.
“To see them smile, to see them hold their head up, their chin up and look you in the eye because maybe they couldn’t do that before with others because they were afraid – it’s a blessing for us,” said BACA patch member “Bootsie.”
BACA members said thousands of children in West Virginia are abused physically and/or sexually. Some of those children are too scared to walk to class in fear the perpetrators will find and hurt them again, BACA members said.
Friday marked the second day the Kanawha Valley chapter walked two child abuse victims to Cabell County schools. 13 News is not releasing the names of those children or schools in order to protect their identities.
BACA also escorts children to court in child abuse cases. “Pipe,” president of the BACA Kanawha Valley chapter, said they will also go to parks with children or sleep on their front porches if they’re too scared to sleep at night – anything that helps the children feel safe.
“Empowerment today meant them being able to walk and laugh and talk and smile on their way to school this morning,” Bootsie said. “They’re the hero – they’re the strong one. We’re just the supporter.”
Each motorcyclist must go through a background check before becoming a part of BACA. Anyone who’d like to join the organization can find out more information at their monthly meetings, held on the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m. at the Eleanor Fire Department.