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Bikers Against Child Abuse looking to start local chapter

More than four children die everyday from child abuse, something Bikers Against Child Abuse is trying to change. BACA is in the process of starting a Stark and Dunn County chapter to help local children who are in a toxic environment. Currently t...

More than four children die everyday from child abuse, something Bikers Against Child Abuse is trying to change.
BACA is in the process of starting a Stark and Dunn County chapter to help local children who are in a toxic environment.

Currently the only chapter in the state is in Williston but the distance is proving to be a strain.

"We have some people that were interested in starting a chapter down there," said Williston chapter president Mike "Jib Jab" Wegleitner. "We usually have a 100 mile radius."

With only one chapter up and running in the state, Wegleitner said their chapter is growing.
"It seems to be growing more and more everyday," said Wegleitner. "We have six patch members right now, and we have about six or seven members going into the training and everything to be a patch member."

BACA is an international organization that works to empower children to not feel afraid in the world they live in.

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The group is prepared to be a physical and emotional support for an abused child.

Initial contact starts when a child is scared by his or her environment and everything has been reported to the authorities. A local liaison then will communicate with the chapter and the chapter will reach out the family for an initial visit.

After the initial visit a child is assigned two BACA members that will be the child's primary contacts.

The local chapter ride their motorcycles to meet the child at their home during an initial visit and give them a BACA patch sewn onto a vest that they can wear. The children are also given gifts that are usually donated by the public.
Members that become primary contacts have to pass an extensive background check, have ridden with an established chapter for at least one year and have received special instructions from the licensed mental health professional.

Rodriguez said, however, just because someone goes through the training does not mean that they will be accepted.
"There is a certain amount of training that they have to have before they are even considered to be patched out," said Tiburon Rodriguez, chapter development officer.

BACA is never intended to be a permanent fixture of a child's life but instead to help them realize how powerful they can be, according to their mission statement.

There are four levels of intervention that the organization follows to stop child abuse.

Level one includes a member ride to the child's home during the initial contact.

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"For me it's going and doing that level one and seeing that child smile, knowing that there are people out there that are willing to protect them," said Rodriguez. "Just seeing that child smile is very empowering."

Level two intervention occurs if the abuse or harassment of the child continues and members will be sent to the home of the child when the family is most vulnerable. The purpose of level two is to deter abuse and to protect the child and family if necessary.

Level three intervention includes a formal letter drafted by the chapter that will be sent to the abuser if level two does not deter them. The letter will in essence explain to the perpetrator that the chapter is prepared to take whatever steps necessary to become the obstacle to stop the abuse.

Level four will include a neighborhood awareness ride to let people in the general area of the abuser know more about the chapter and how they function. BACA does not condone, support or participate in violence.

The group will also attend court appearances with a child that has been abused if the child wishes, to support and to help them feel less intimidated or afraid.

"It's all commitment," said Rodriguez. "Whatever you want to dedicate to this, whatever you want to commit to this, is what you are going to get out of it."

For more information visit www.bacaworld.org or call 701-770-7532.

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