Is anyone tougher than bikers? Maybe not. Members of a group called Bikers Against Child Abuse volunteer their time to making victims of child abuse feel safe. In 2012 in Arizona, a group of bikers drove up to the home of an 11-year-old girl. The 14 motorcycles stopped, and a formidable, intimidating man got off his 2000 Harley Road King and told the girl, “Hi, I’m Pipes.” She replied, “Nice to meet you.” The other bikers, some of them female, meet the girl. The bikers’ names are Nytro, D’Animal, Rock, Pumpkin, Tree, Sassy, Rembrandt, Harmony and Shiraz (twin biker chicks), Surely, Uno, Smiles, Tool, Mo Money, Bigg Dogg, Fat Daddy, Ghost Daddy, Father Time, and Trucker. Rock told the girl, “I’m really a nice guy.” Police reports state that one of the girl’s relatives abused her. She wakes up at night, terrified. The bikers wear their motto—“No child deserves to live in fear”—on the back of their black leather vests and T-shirts. The article “Bikers Against Child Abuse Make Abuse Victims Feel Safe” by Karina Bland in The Republic (Phoenix, Arizona) explained, “Even kids know that nobody messes with bikers. Bikers look big, and strong, and mean, both in real life and in how they are portrayed on television and in films. They are easy riders, sons of anarchy, not afraid of anything. And they take care of their own. A child who has been abused by someone bigger and stronger knows too well what it feels like to be small and vulnerable. BACA shifts that balance by putting even bigger and stronger people—and more of them—on the child’s side. And if those even-bigger and stronger people are scary-looking too, perhaps with flaming-skull tattoos, chains on their belts and scars of questionable origin, so much the better.” Rembrandt said, “The biker image is what makes this work. Golfers Against Child Abuse does not have the same feel.” The bikers do such things as stand guard outside all night upon request so that the child-abuse survivor feels safe. The bikers will take the child to school. The bikers will go to court when the child testifies and give moral support by sitting in the front row. Pipes tells children who are going to testify, “Look at us, not him.” He said, “When we tell a child they don’t have to be afraid, they believe us. When we tell them we will be there for them, they believe us.” The bikers introduced themselves to the 11-year-old girl, and then they gave her a small denim vest covered in patches. It bore the girl’s new biker name: Rhythm. Pipes said, “This means now you’re part of our big, ugly family.” One of the other bikers said, “Speak for yourself—we’re not all ugly!” Pipes told Rhythm, “If you’re afraid, you call us. Whenever you need us, we will be here.” Another part of the initiation into the biker gang is a ride on one of the motorcycles. Two members of the gang became Rhythm’s primary contacts. They gave Rhythm their cellphone numbers, and she can call them 24 hours a day. As a result of her initiation into the gang of protectors, Rhythm laughed, something she had not done for a long time.
For Further Information: Karina Bland, “Bikers Against Child Abuse make abuse victims feel safe.” The Republic (Phoenix, Arizona). Azcentral.com. 13 July 2012
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