Friday, 20 July 2012

Get your tissues out

This is one of those articles that makes you feel all choked up and adoring; Bikers Against Child Abuse making abuse victims feel safe. Seriously, that article. It's amazing stuff. It sort of makes me want to hug everyone involved.

This is the situation: in Arizona, and many other states across the US, ultra-tough bikies have set up non-profit clubs specifically to protect and aid child abuse victims. They make contact with children who've been abused by people they trusted, children who no longer feel safe, and do everything, around the clock, to give that kid some security and a new sense of protection.

The bikers aren't looking for trouble. They are there so the kids don't feel so alone, or so powerless. Pipes recalls going to court with an 8-year-old boy, and how tiny he looked on the witness stand, his feet dangling a foot off the floor.

"It's scary enough for an adult to go to court," he says. "We're not going to let one of our little wounded kids go alone."

In court that day, the judge asked the boy, "Are you afraid?" No, the boy said.

Pipes says the judge seemed surprised, and asked, "Why not?"

The boy glanced at Pipes and the other bikers sitting in the front row, two more standing on each side of the courtroom door, and told the judge, "Because my friends are scarier than he is."

What kid wouldn't feel safer, knowing that their new best friend is a giant, built-like-a-tank, leather-wearing biker? And while the bikers are vetted by cops and the CPS, they represent a slightly less constrained force than the police, who are sometimes bound by regulations that prevent them from acting. There's another anecdote in that article, about a 10-year-old living with her grandmother. She'd been abused, and her abuser's family turned up at her grandmother's house, harrassing them and terrorizing the small child inside. The grandmother called the cops, but she called the bikers too. The cops made the abusers leave, but then they had to leave too; the bikers stayed on that grandmother's front lawn for three days, and even though the abusers drove past a few times, they didn't get near that little girl again.

See? Don't you want to hug somebody?

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