BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Being a biker often comes with the rough and tough stigma as they ride around on a Harley Davidson, but for a group of local bikers, underneath all that leather, these men and women have huge hearts and they’re protecting your children.
Bikers Against Child Abuse is a world wide organization with over 8,000 volunteer bikers. The Buffalo chapter was created two and half years ago and currently has over 50 members. Their only mission is to empower children not to be afraid.
“Somebody stealing the innocence of a child and making that child live in fear is just absolutely reprehensible,” said Shepard, B.A.C.A member.
Each biker goes through lengthy training for up to 16 months. It involves an FBI background check, learning how to work with children and how to ride in large groups. They say it’s a 24/7 commitment.
“We want the child to know that, everybody, every one of us has their back no matter what. We’re there 24/7 for the children. if they’re feeling afraid, they call, we’re there,” said Shepard.
B.A.C.A works with the courts, police, agencies and parents. They say less than 20 percent of abused children testify, but B.A.C.A children testify 90 percent of the time.
Bikers will even show up to court cases if needed to alienate the fear.
“To see the joy that they feel later when they know that there’s forty people or more that have their back, that they don’t have to feel afraid, that they can start to feel empowered and take their childhood back, that’s why we do what we do,” said Riff, B.A.C.A member.
Each B.A.C.A child gets a teddy bear signed by every biker in the chapter and they’re given a road name and their own biker vest to feel a part of the biker family.
If a child has siblings, they’re also adopted into the group as well.