Members of the Bikers Against Child Abuse Mid Vancouver Island chapter.

Bikers Against Child Abuse growing on the Island

100 Mile Ride set for May long weekend

  • Mar. 15, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record staff

Grizzly promises an eye-catching event.

For more than 150 bikers who will be riding through Courtenay in May, that’s exactly what they are hoping for, too.

The bikers will be decorated in patches, motorcycles rumbling and raising awareness for a growing movement not only within the Comox Valley, but now expanding throughout Vancouver Island.

The riders are either part of or supporters of Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.), and Grizzly (whose name is protected by riding monikers), the president of the mid-Vancouver Island temporary chapter, says the community is taking notice of the service and role they play.

“Child abuse is always swept under the carpet. There’s a stigma of shame not only for the person abused, but for their family as well.”

On May 21, the organization will participate in the 100 Mile Ride – along with every chapter across the world in 11 countries on the same day at the same time.

The ride will take bikers at Bayview Motorcycles in Parksville, to Duncan, and then back to the Filberg Centre, and members and the public are welcome to take part.

B.A.C.A is an organization with the intent to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live, while lending support to those in need. B.A.C.A. chapters work with local agencies such as victim services and other local and provincial officials who are already in place, to protect abused children by lending physical and emotional support to them by affiliation and presence.

Grizzly notes in addition to raising funds for the local temporary chapter, he hopes the event will raise more awareness, and take away the ‘bikers’ stigma.

The group, which formed about two years ago, is just a few months away from full chapter status. They began as the only one on the Island, forming after a few people saw what B.A.C.A. was online and started posting on social media. He adds there is now a group in Victoria looking at forming a chapter.

The group works in such a way when a child within the community is abused, a referring agency determines if the child is frightened by their environment.

The agency contacts B.A.C.A., a child liaison for the group contacts the family, and an initial ride is organized to meet the child at their home or at another location.

“It’s quite the sight to see 20 to 30 members on their motorbikes coming down the street,” notes Grizzly.

The child is presented with their own vest with patches related to their interests, a name (no real names are used for protection), and the child is adopted into the B.A.C.A. family.

The child is then given the name and phone numbers of two members who become the primary contacts.

The organization offers various levels of intervention. Several B.A.C.A. members will be sent to create a visual presence for further exposure.

“Because some cases go on for weeks, we can camp outside the home,” says Grizzly, and adds some of the funds raised during the 100 Mile Ride will go towards essentials such as two-way radios and lighting needed during these times.

“A lot of planning goes into this, because we don’t want to put any more stress on the child.”

If the physical presence of members does not deter the perpetrator, level three intervention can be enacted. This involves writing a formal letter drafted by the chapter president or vice-president, written on B.A.C.A. letterhead, to explain to the perpetrator members are prepared to become the obstacle to further abuse.

B.A.C.A. members also attend court to show support and solidarity.

“There’s a certain level of safety (for the child) to see our presence and feel less intimidated.”

Grizzly says the temporary chapter’s services have been used in the Valley. They have also participated in other events, such as the Cumberland Motorcycle Roundup, to bring awareness to the community.

“Kids love the bikes, and it’s really neat to let them know you’re there for them, and to show them how powerful they can be.”

The temporary chapter is hoping to raise $30,000 during the 100 Mile Ride, which includes not only the ride, but a fundraising dance at the Filberg featuring Machine Gun Kelly and a silent auction. Both events are open to the public; tickets for the ride and dance are $25, and $15 for the dance only.

For more information or to register for the event, visit Bacaworld.org or email Grizzly at info@bacamvi.ca.

 

Just Posted

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese linked to 5 E. coli cases in B.C.

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Jim’s Clothes Closet celebrates 50th anniversary

Store began in Port Alberni, expanded on Vancouver Island and beyond

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Recent CVGSAR rescues see varying degrees of success

Teams searched for a dog swept downstream and helped an 80-year-old hiker

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Student arrested at Vancouver Island elementary school

Pupils never in danger, incident unrelated to the school

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

Contest: Win a movie pass for two

It’s that time again - free movie passes! The Record is giving… Continue reading

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Most Read