We ran across this interesting article in the Colorado Gazette about a group of bikers in Colorado Springs who are helping to improve the lives of abused children. It goes to show you that the movement to end child abuse reaches all types of people. Please read below.
Watch out, any of you who would hurt a child. There’s a new brotherhood of bikers in town.
Their mission: empower children to help the bad guys get their due and protect the kids from further harm. A local chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse is forming and will become fully chartered April 11, during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, said Todd “Bones” Trimble, one of the organizers.
“This is an organized way to fight child abuse,” Trimble said. “It’s time to take the streets back and make the world safer for our kids.”
The national organization was founded in 1995 in Utah by a licensed child therapist, with the goal of creating a safer environment for abused children. There are now 33 chapters, including one in Fremont County, the only other chapter in Colorado.
Members work with law enforcement, child protective services and other local agencies to identify abused children who would benefit from the security of having a biker group on their side. After going through a required training program and background checks, the bikers befriend the children, visiting their homes on their motorcycles, adopting the kids as honorary members of the group and accompanying them to court hearings.
If necessary, the group provides 24/7 watch over the children at their homes and schools. They also raise money to help pay for therapy sessions and care packages. The presence of bikers, decked out in black leather jackets and serious about their task, sends a clear message to child abusers, said Ron “Maverick” Clark, another member of the fledgling chapter.
“There needs to be an intimidation factor,” said Clark, a commercial real estate broker who also volunteers with the children’s ministry at New Life Church “We’re not a motorcycle club. We have the biker mentality of brotherhood and are dedicated to the cause of helping children.”
The bikers don’t push children to accept their services, said Trimble, a mechanic. In fact, children don’t seem afraid but rather welcome their company, he said.
“We earn their trust, and trust becomes power for the children so they can talk about what happened to them and get abusers prosecuted and off the streets,” Trimble said.
Local BACA members, numbering 13 so far, come from all walks of life, but all stand on equal ground when it comes to shielding children from neglect and abuse.
“You don’t join this organization to run around with a bunch of guys on bikes, but because you have a real heart for kids,” Clark said.
Lino “Puna” Calica, an information technology specialist, said he hooked up with the group because he was abused as a child in school and had to “fight for his life.”
“I wanted to be a part of this so no other child needs to go through something like what I did,” he said. “No child should live in fear.”
About 1,200 children affected by abuse and neglect enter the court system each year in El Paso County, in addition to numerous ongoing cases, said Trudy Strewler, executive director of Court-Appointed Special Advocates of the Pikes Peak Region, which advocates for children in court.
“To have bikers care about the issue of child abuse and neglect is fabulous,” she said.
• For information on the local chapter, call Todd “Bones” Trimble at 287-1065.
• To request BACA assistance, call the toll-free hot line at 800-230-4852.
Source: The Colorado Gazette 3/2009