Murray bikers take to the road to confront on child abuse
Feb 21, 2019 12:17PM
● By Shaun Delliskave
Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) members are granted a special patch to wear on their back indicating they are a full-fledged member. (Photo courtesy of BACA)
By Shaun Delliskave | [email protected]
Wearing black leather jackets and revving their hogs at their Murray hangout, you might suspect that this is your typical biker gang. They even go by names like Mudbug, Lil Red, and Beard, but this biker club is not out to create trouble. The Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) Wasatch Chapter rides to help those youngest among us who have been scarred by abuse and neglect.
“We use road names in BACA. Both for us and for our kids,” said Mudbug, public relations officer for the Wasatch Chapter. “I don’t even know the real names of most of the kids we empower.”
The Wasatch Chapter was founded in 1997 and meets at the Murray Fraternal Order of Eagles Club. BACA is an international non-profit organization that was started in Provo in 1995. Founded by a social worker, the purpose of BACA was to create a safer environment for abused children.
“Our chapter was the experiment that worked. The belief of our founder was that the success in Provo could be duplicated, but they needed a group of dedicated bikers to start a new chapter, so they picked one close to home and chose those who they knew could hold up ‘The Mission,’” stated Mudbug.
BACA’s mission states that they will work in conjunction with local and state officials to help protect children, including providing physical and emotional support. The mission states that BACA does not condone violence but stands to be an “obstacle” if it is the only way to stop the abuse. Chapters can be found in Europe and Australia, with eight different chapters located in Utah.
“We call children of abuse our heroes. We’ve seen what they’ve endured and what they continue to endure as they recapture their strength by telling their story. They’ve gone through the kind of hell that most adults could never imagine,” said Mudbug.
The chapter participates in events like Taylorsville Dayzz, FanX, GamingCon, Trick-or-Treat Street, auto shows, Night Out Against Crime, and other events where they can also raise funds for victims of child abuse and raise awareness of how BACA helps the community.
“We host a summer and winter party where they (the Heroes) can come and spend time with us (their BACA family) over pizza, cookies and punch. We also visit organizations to tell them about our mission and raise awareness of how we can help,” noted Mudbug.
In order to be a member of BACA, one must be over 21 in Utah (18 in other areas) and have full-time access to a motorcycle that can run at freeway speeds. This means you can be a driver or the passenger of a driver who is either a member or is working towards membership. Also, one must submit to a federal NCIC background check and be screened out for domestic violence or abuse of any kind against children. After passing the background check, one must then start training and start riding with the group. This lasts at least one year and gives BACA time to judge how well the “supporter” fits in with their mission, organization and chapter. It also lets them decide if they’re right for “what we need from them.”
After a year, and many hours of training, if there is unanimous agreement from the chapter’s executive board, the supporter will be presented with a back patch and from then on is a “member.” Being a member is the chapter’s highest honor. Only members can be a “primary contact” for a child who’s been abused. BACA members work in pairs and must abide by the many rules governing how to interact with abused children and families.
BACA members have a special term for when a child connects with one of them and knows that they have a support system: the “Ah ha! moment.”
“That’s (when) they finally let their guard down, just a little, because they know you’re on their side. I remember my ‘Ah ha! moment’—everybody remembers theirs,” recalled Mudbug. “There was a little girl who was abused by her neighbor. We, as a chapter, went to visit her. Her two primary contacts had already said goodbye after the visit. As I was turning to leave, she looked at me and teared up. She walked over and hugged me. I was the only one she hugged. I knew I just had to help as many of these Heroes as I could.”
More information about BACA visit bacaworld.org or they can be reached at Wasatch Front Chapter helpdesk, (801) 860-9860.