The announcement of a royal commission into the sexual explotation of children has been welcomed by Bikers United Against Child Abuse, a new group of motorcyclists committed to protecting young people from harm.FIONA BROOM November 14, 2012 4:50am
Bikers United Against Child Abuse members Steve Bond, Warren Dempsey, Brett Wiefkers, Ross Biggin and Peter White support victims in court.
No child should live in fear.
That’s the creed of Bikers United Against Child Abuse, a newly-formed group of men and women with a commitment to motorcycles and protecting children from harm.
Following Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement a royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse would be held, the ‘‘keepers of the children’’ yesterday said victim support groups had been calling for an inquiry for years.
But they said any investigation into Australia’s endemic problems with child abuse was a good thing — as long as recommendations were followed and abusers charged.
President Peter White said the group formed in July as the north-central Victorian branch of what was becoming an international movement, but had essentially come to represent all of Victoria.
He said the original idea was to form a group to help young people, who he often came across on the streets with his Echuca security business.
But they soon signed on to Bikers United Against Child Abuse, founded in Australia in 2001.
Now there are 13 members across the north-east, with about another 50 people across Australia keen to sign on.
The group provides support to child victims, particularly in court when they are forced to face their perpetrators or in other intimidating or embarrassing situations, and raises awareness about the issue.
‘‘The perpetrators always have heaps of friends and family behind them because they think they’re being picked on,’’ Mr White said.
‘‘The families have got no-one and sometimes there’s not even family.’’
Member Warren Dempsey said at their first court hearing seven bikers went to support the victim.
He said their presence was queried three times by police.
‘‘We’re not a vigilante group, we’re there to support victims and bring awareness,’’ he said.
The bikers lamented what they saw as a rise in abuse in Australia.
They voiced concerns child abuse would become more common and more destructive.
‘‘Every time you pick up a paper these days it’s abuse, abuse, abuse,’’ Steve Bond said.
Hafizullah Mohaqiq was born in Afghanistan, spent periods living in Pakistan and Iran, before arriving in Shepparton two months ago.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Fairley Leadership Program met in Tatura on Wednesday, exploring ‘Water and our catchment’ at Goulburn Murray Water.
Road authorities have made little progress to fixing Echuca’s most dangerous intersections.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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