A South Florida non-profit organization that works to protect abused children says their phone lines aren’t ringing as much during the coronavirus pandemic, but members say that isn’t exactly good news.
“Before, kids would be able to go to school and talk to somebody,” says a spokesperson for the Sawgrass chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse (B.A.C.A.). He goes by Pooch for safety reasons.
“They would be able to go and play with their friends and another parent would see something and say something. Now it’s not happening,”
The international non-profit organization works to help abused children living in fear and going through the court system.
“We live in Miami/Ft.Lauderdale; glitz and glamour.” Pooch said. “People get caught up in that lifestyle, but when you find out what happens right in your backyard under your nose, you can impact a life not just today but for their whole future.”
The non-profit is one of several organizations who are not getting as many people calling and reaching out about kids who may be in danger, according to Pooch.
“Just imagine children in those situations before, when they had opportunities to reach out for help, now they are locked down in that abusive situation,” he said.
The B.A.C.A. training coordinator, known as 1Up, explains, every member gets a federal background check and a year of training with a sponsor member.
“There are a lot of rules to what we do to make sure we, and especially those children are protected,” said 1Up.
Their goal is to empower children whether that’s sitting with them during a court hearing, through a trial or interacting with a child outside of their home or a safe place.
The group says they work to make children feel like they are not in danger, taking turns until that mission is accomplished.
“We ride up a bunch of us on bikes,” he said. “We get up in front of the kids explaining who we are, what we do. We give them their road name, their cut with their road name, a blanket, a teddy bear. They become part of our family,” said Pooch.
“I have been lucky enough to see a child go from standing behind somebody terrified to running around blowing bubbles at us,” said 1Up.
“We are happy to be there to help you to where you are not afraid anymore. There is nothing more I’d rather do,” she said.
The B.A.C.A. members don’t reveal their true identities for security reasons.
They want the public to know if you are with a child who is in danger or know a child you are concerned about you can call them at 786-766-2131.
You can also get more information by going to bacaworld.org.