I pulled into the parking lot of the Colorado Community Church that sunny Friday morning for the annual conference of the Colorado Association for Play Therapy. I felt eager, excited and curious about what the next two days held. But as I drew nearer to the conference entrance, I found myself puzzled by the scene before me. In the church lobby stood a group of enormous (at least to my 5 foot 1 self), leather-clad men (and one leather-clad woman), seemingly tough as nails and even a bit intimidating. Was there a Hells Angels recovery meeting? Were these people here to act as security? I walked further into the conference hall and came across even more of them, this time standing behind a table with pamphlets, videos and giveaways. What could these people possibly have to do with play therapy? I decided there was only one way to find out more.
I approached their table feeling with a perplexed look on my face. The first of the bikers smiled at me. “Hello, are you a therapist?” As I nodded yes, he proceeded to offer me stickers, a pen, a video and an explanation of who these incredible men (and woman) before me are and what they do. I was moved to tears by their mission, their passion and their dedication to child victims of abuse.
Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.) is an organization of bikers who strive to support and empower children who have fallen victim to abuse. They literally incorporate the child into their family of bikers and are available 24-7 to offer whatever it takes to allow the child to feel safe, secure and protected. My own pre-conceived notions had me feeling intimidated before I knew who these amazing individuals really are. So, I can only imagine the confusion and intimidation that would arise in a child abuser when a group of bikers rides up on their motorcycles to offer protection and support to the child victim.
B.A.C.A. go above and beyond the protection that can be provided by any law enforcement agency, giving children a genuine sense of safety in their homes, schools or anywhere else they need it, at any time. These bikers even accompany kids to court and parole hearings, since they know that facing one’s abuser in court can be an incredibly vulnerable and traumatic experience for a young person. They are an amazing part of the child’s healing process because when children experience safety all around them (particularly in the form of adults who vow to keep them safe), they integrate that sense of safety and are able to be enter into their healing process.
I really want to take this space to commend B.A.C.A. on their remarkable work with child abuse victims. For more information go to http://www.bacausa.com.