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.By Fiona Broom
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.
Wellington Phoenix midfielder Alex Smith found himself on the outer midway through last season and is pondering what went wrong at the A-League Club. The 27-year-old is currently living with his fiancee’s parents in Benalla.
Most people at the J C Lowe Oval left on Saturday evening talking about the game but not the result. Pigeon Coach Chris Kennedy summed up the feeling adequately when he said after the game; “it was a frustrating game, but my players weren’t responsible for the frustration.”
The move to extend the Tatura War Memorial area and honour Victoria Cross hero Robert Mactier with the erection of a statue in the Hogan St gardens named in his honour, continues.
An amount of cannabis was found in a truck yesterday after police intercepted a 41-year-old driver from Echuca.
Campaspe Shire will host a workshop to help district contractors write council tenders.
The call has gone out for Kyabram residents to throw open their garage doors for Kyabram Gift Inc's annual Purple Weekend fundraiser.
Ten people were injured after Two Australian Light Armoured Vehicles (ASLAV) collided during a training course at the Puckapunyal Military Training Range in on Wednesday, May 22.
The Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre has secured a $500,000 grant from Regional Development Australia.
Much of the inspiration for Heathcote-based musician Doug Bruce's latest album came from driving on the McIvor Hwy, he says.
Detectives in pursuit of Australia’s most wanted man have not ruled out Cobram as a possible hiding place.
Pastoral Times managing editor discusses the complexities of modern day media at U3A presentation.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) is investigating incidents of abortion or still-births under the Lamb and Kid Mortality Surveillance Project.(LKSMP).
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