Borger gains a new 501C3 organization.
This Saturday local citizens and officials will celebrate the coming of Bikers Aginst Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) at Dakes from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., where B.A.C.A High Plains Chapter will receive its full charter.
According to the B.A.C.A. High Plains Chapter president Ray "Sugar" Eller, B.A.C.A began to form last August. In the past year they have ridden their bikes on several trips around Texas receiving training from legal, medical and physiological professionals in the proper manner of dealing with abused children and abuse cases.
“Having our full charter will allow us to carry out the B.A.C.A. mission for the abused children of the panhandle. The High Plains Chapter will be there for the children, our 'local' area will be from Canyon north to the state lines. West Texas is a large area. B.A.C.A. Texas is set up in five regions, the same five regions as the CPS. Here, in Region One, there are four B.A.C.A. Chapters, Lubbock being the closest,” said Eller.
Part of the B.A.C.A. mission and the commitment to the children is escorting and supporting them as they testify in the courtroom.
“The judges and prosecutors are very favorable to having B.A.C.A. in the courtroom. Our mission is to empower these children to not fear. For a small abused child, having to re-live the unspeakable things that have happened to them through testimony and having the defense attorneys attempt to destroy their credibility.....is horrible enough for an adult, we can only imagine how terrifying it is to a child. So, by our presence in numbers, we have a great success rate in empowering these children to tell their story, to hold their abuse's accountable and therefore, receiving welcome from judges and prosecutors,” Eller stated.
B.A.C.A. security and credibility is greatly protected by the membership. According to Eller, “We do not become involved unless there has been a case filed, an arrest has been made and a charge stated. When this has happened we will receive a referral. Our referrals come from many sources: the D.A.'s office, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), CAC (Children's Advocacy Center), Law Enforcement, CPS (Child Protective Services) and everyday caring citizens. Once we have received a referral, we do our initial interview with the child's guardian for confirmation that B.A.C.A. will have a positive effect in the case. Then we organize our adoptions where we have an 'adoption' ceremony with the child and bring them into our B.A.C.A. family. I have been to adoptions where we have had an excess of 100 B.A.C.A. members on motorcycles.”
According to the B.A.C.A. website, when first meeting the child, the entire B.A.C.A. chapter rides to meet the child and is given a vest with a B.A.C.A. patch sewn on the back, bumper stickers, and other gifts that are generally donated by the public. Following this initial contact, the child is given the names and numbers of two B.A.C.A. members, who then become the child's primary contact person. Prior to becoming the primary contacts for the child, the bikers are cleared for participation by clearing an extensive background check, having ridden with the Chapter for at least a year, and having received special instructions from the Licensed Mental Health Professional.
Anytime the child feels scared and feels the need for the presence of his or her new B.A.C.A family, the child can call these bikers to go to the child's house and provide the necessary reassurance to feel safe and protected. B.A.C.A. members and supporters also support the children by providing escorts for them if they feel scared in their neighborhoods, riding by their homes on a regular basis, supporting the children at court and parole hearings, attending their interviews, and staying with the children if they are alone and frightened.
For more information on this local organization, call Eller at 806-395-0252.