Bikers Against Child Abuse gave a presentation in the UVU Student Center Grande Ballroom, as part of the Clothesline Project. BACA spoke about the important work they are doing to protect children and end violence against them.
BACA was founded in 1995 by John Paul “Chief” Lilly, a licensed clinical social worker, a registered play therapist/supervisor, and part-time faculty member at BYU, because he felt there was a need in the community to protect abused children and help with the cost of therapy.
The goal of BACA is to have their presence known in an abused child’s neighborhood. This presence is to help the child feel safer and to let the perpetrators know the child has been adopted by the bikers and has become one of their own.
“I ride with BACA so I can help the children,” said Roger Wise, a professor at UVU in the School of Education. “It’s something that I have committed to do to help people who have been hurt, especially little kids.”
BACA brings the children stuffed animals and toys as well as a vest to let them know they are one of them. The bikers are there if the child needs them to feel safe – even if it means the bikers spend the night sleeping on the child’s porch or going to court to be with the child while they testify against the perpetrator.
“Our whole gig is to really empower children,” said Joe Piche, the Vice President of the Central Utah Chapter of BACA and a UVU Behavior Science student. “If you ever have to work with a child and go to court with them and listen to them testify, and what it takes for them to get strong enough to testify, so that you can watch them go back and be a kid again is one of the best feelings.”
The Clothesline Project is a violence awareness and prevention program sponsored by the Equity in Education, Turning Point, and Women’s Resource centers at UVU. The Clothesline Project presentation was from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Clothesline Project is a display of t-shirts hung on a clothesline with messages from survivors of violence or from family members of victims of violent crime. The Clothesline Project has been displayed twice a year at UVU since 1998. All the shirts were made by UVU students or community members. More than 80-100 new shirts are added each year, and there are more than 1000 shirts on display now.
For more information on BACA visit www.bacausa.com. For more information on The Clothesline Project contact Jennie Briggs at 801-863-8498.
BACA will give a special presentation on the important work they are doing to protect children and end the violence against them. This event is free and open to the public and is in conjunction with the Clothesline Project.