Matt Parker: When the abuse happens, it takes a lot away from that kid. Not just the physical or sexual abuse, but their childhood is taken away from them.
The problem is, is that most of the time when we take these cases it is an instance where the child is too afraid to talk in court. Uh, we’re there to empower them and make them feel that they have the ability to walk in there and face their perpetrators and do what needs to be done.
We actually had a kid, when I first started, that hadn’t been outside and played in over, like, three months. We got him to actually ride his bike from his house to where we were having the intervention, and that was huge. Like, his mom and dad were crying. That was the first time this child’s gotten to get out and be a kid again.
So, it’s a big deal for us to be able to see that kind of a change in a child that goes from, um, inside of a shell to opens up and is able to play and have fun again. It makes it all worthwhile.
We’re not there to be vigilantes. We’re not there to chase these perps down or anything like that. We’re there for the child and only the child.
We make sure that they’re in a good place, that they can be a kid again. Whether that means at two o’clock in the morning and they have a nightmare and they can’t get back to sleep…Uh, and they’re afraid, they can give us a call at two o’clock in the morning and we will get up and go to their house and post up around their house until they feel safe and secure again. And to be able to move on to the next day or however long it takes.
The president of our chapter had a kid when he first started by the name of, his road name was Porkchop. And it was a pretty big case; it was in the news. It was a really tough case for him. Um, a lot of stuff happened and justice was never served. And it was…the child actually lost his life. And so, that was the moment for him that he called his “Porkchop moment.” That was the moment where he knew this is why I’m in it. This is what I have to help prevent.
Everybody has a different “Porkchop moment.” Mine, specifically, uh, oddly enough was a little girl wanting to ask me to wear a tutu. So, around a bunch of bikers, this little girl had a tutu and she was a ballerina and she decided that I needed to wear it. So I wore it for her. Everybody got a good laugh but I was able to see in her that change—by something as simple as me putting on a tutu and making her laugh.
She went from upset and shelled up to being able to laugh, and have fun, and go play just because a biker was putting on a tutu for her. You know, that was kind of my “Porkchop moment.” Knowing that I’m in the right place, doing the right thing because I can see that I’m making a difference.
The way we look and the way we act are not necessarily the same. Just because we look like big, mean bikers and you know, “You don’t want to mess with those guys, they’re into bad stuff.” Not all bikers are like that. And it somewhat plays to our advantage, uh, helping these kids. It puts the image in their head that we’re bad guys but we’re fighting for them.
We’re human beings. We’re good guys. Um, we all, you know, put one leg over the bike just like you do.
For more information about Bikers Against Child Abuse, visit their website.