The first Nova Scotia chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), which exists to create a safer environment for abused children, formed in Truro in December and the group is holding a 100-mile ride this spring.
“I was never a joiner but when I read about this I knew it was where I want to be,” said Shorty, a Pictou County resident who is the chapter’s vice-president. “This is a very positive thing to be part of. Our mission is to enable children to live without fear.”
Aiming to work more efficiently, members do not use their names, but go by a nickname specially chosen for their BACA activities.
The organization has chapters around the world and works in conjunction with official agencies and departments, who refer children experiencing fear. While cases are being processed within the system BACA members meet with the child and provide the names and numbers of two members they can contact when they feel the need. (These are bikers who have had extensive background checks and received instructions from a mental health professional.) The contact will escort children if they feel unsafe, ride by their homes on a regular basis, support them at court hearings, attend interviews and spend time with them when they’re afraid. They never go to a child’s house alone or without the permission of parents.
“I got involved because I could see things that weren’t right and I wanted to help children have the best life they can have,” said Big B, a Colchester County resident and president of the chapter. “I’m a big teddy bear and I don’t want any child to suffer.”
The Truro chapter currently has 10 members and they’re happy to hear from bikers interested in joining them.
All bikers are welcome to take part in the ride on May 20. The cost is $20 per bike and participants are invited to go to the Engine Room following it to enjoy live music and a silent auction.
Chapters around the world hold their ride the same day to raise funds and awareness.
“Come out and support us; we’re good guys,” added Shorty. “We need people to know about us. The innocence of children should never be stripped away by a monster.”
Begins: Valley-Kemptown Fire Hall.
Registration: 9:30-10:45 a.m.
Kickstands up 11 a.m.
Ends: Engine Room Pub from 3-6 p.m. for raffle prizes, a silent auction and live entertainment with Adam MakBain
Cost: $20 per bike