KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas biker group is helping victims of child abuse as they face their alleged attackers in court in Kansas and Missouri.

The Kaw River Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse formed in 2016, The Kansas City Star reported . The worldwide Bikers Against Child Abuse movement began two decades ago. The group provides free emotional support and acts as a safety buffer for children alleging abuse.

"We're here to empower children to speak up and not be afraid of the world in which they live," said Rich Black, president of the Kaw River Chapter.

The approximately 15-member chapter works with hospitals, law enforcement and social service centers to find families in need of support. Members go through criminal background checks to reassure the families they help. They typically use road names to protect their identities so accused abusers can't find them.

The bikers provide camaraderie and confidence to frightened children facing hard questions and stares, said Judy Jones, who is with the Missouri-based advocacy group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"When children go to trial they're really put to the grind," Jones said. "It helps them a lot to know they're not alone."

The bikers are available to help a child whenever they feel threatened, anxious or lonely.

"Some of them need us longer than others," said one member with the road name Krewzer, the chapter's child liaison and who is typically the first person to meet with a victim.

The children often attend outdoor cookouts with the group and many join the organization as adults.

"We have a saying: Once a BACA child, always a BACA child," said "Lucy," a biker who serves as secretary for BACA International. "They'll always be part of the family."

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com