TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) Dozens of residents including local officials joined Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA), whose members support the young victims of child abuse, at a Stand Up Against Child Abuse awareness rally Friday at McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple.
Officials say more than 700 victims of child abuse came through McLane’s last year, but they know many more cases went unreported.
BACA members work with local and state officials to support child abuse victims, making the children members of the group and giving them the names and phone numbers of two BACA members who live nearby on whom the youngsters may call whenever they need reassurance.
The members who serve as primary contacts for abused children undergo extensive background checks and receive special training, according to the organization’s website.
“We empower children through our presence so they can get on the stand and tell their story and put bad people away,” local BACA president “Bling Bling” said Friday.
“We all need to stand up and speak up for child abuse because it's going to take all of us working together to put a stop to it.”
Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza, says working with BACA has changed lives.
“Every time we have a case in the courtroom that involves child abuse…really all the BACA team shows up in support, which is incredible”
Among those at the event Friday was state Rep. Hugh Shine, R-Temple, who hears stories of child abuse firsthand in Austin.
“I've been listening to testimony for the last weeks of the issues that I know you all are advocating to see changes.” Shine says.