VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - In honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month, a biker organization is working hard to help abused children feel safe.
After a decrease in helpline calls from the pandemic, the organization said they’re ready to come to the rescue.
Bikers Against Child Abuse, or BACA, is an international volunteer organization, with one goal.
“We empower them to know that they’re not going through what they’re going through alone. They got some big, scary-looking dudes to help them feel safe,” said “Waffle,” going by his road name, a member of South Georgia’s Little River Chapter of BACA.
Waffle said they fill the gaps in abused kids’ lives where law enforcement or social programs can’t.
They’re a support team.
To be there to call and talk to and even be a friendly face during court hearings.
They’ll ride to rescue in any time of need.
“There’s definitely been a decrease in calls, that’s probably for a number of reasons, one the cases are not getting as caught as often as they were,” said Waffle.
Waffle said BACA has faced a few challenges this past year.
With kids stuck at home, red flags could be overlooked. Some cases are also on hold because of court closures.
He said some inactive cases have also been resurfacing.
This year, Waffle said they’re expecting more activity.
“I joined because I have a little girl myself and I know how to keep her safe and I know what to look for. But there’s a lot of kids out there that don’t have somebody looking out for them or don’t have enough people looking out for them,” said Waffle.
For safety and privacy, they use nicknames.
BACA is contacted through their helpline. When a case comes up, they learn about it and see if it’s something they can take on. If they can, they do what’s called an “adoption,” and kids get a vest and road names.
This helps show they are not alone.
“It’s amazing when you feel like you don’t do that much or feel like you haven’t done anything but you showing up is enough to make an impact on a kid,” said Waffle.
To learn more about BACA and how to join, click here.
Their helpline number is (229) 234-2941. Meetings are held the first Sunday of the month, at 3 p.m. at American Legion Post #13 on 1301 Williams St in Valdosta.