More than three years after the murder of Kimberly Proctor, personal and community healing continues.
Dressed in biker leather and with a commanding physical presence, Kim Dupont doesn’t come across as your typical anti-bullying advocate.
Yet Dupont is spearheading the Ride for Rights 2013 event, which will see motorcycle riders hitting the streets of Langford and Greater Victoria on Saturday, Sept. 21 to honour and remember Proctor.
Dupont is a family friend of the Proctors. He works as a school counsellor and is also the founder of the Solo Independent Riders motorcycle club.
He believes getting bikers involved is symbolic, to take an image of toughness and turn it into one of compassion.
“Nothing says safety like 200 motorbikes and leather.”
The ride is intended to memorialize and remember Proctor, but also to advocate for continued and improved violence prevention strategies for youth and students.
Kimberly Proctor was sexually assaulted and brutally murdered by two youths she knew from school in March 2010 in Langford. The two boys who killed her, now adults, are currently serving life sentences for the murder.
With the murders of Saanich resident Reena Virk, 14, in 1997 and Proctor in 2010, both killed by peers, Dupont said it’s important to keep preventative measures in the forefront of the minds of parents and educators.
“I don’t want to see that anymore. We forget until the next story and I don’t want there to be another story. I don’t want there to be another Kimberly Proctor.”
Riders and supporters will gather at the Royal Canadian Legion Prince Edward Branch 91 (761 Station Ave.) at noon. There will be some refreshments available there.
From the Legion participants will ride motorcycles or drive to the B.C. legislature, where they will do a couple of laps around the building before heading back to the West Shore.
The group will then head to place flowers on the bridge where Proctor’s body was found, near Atkins Road on the Galloping Goose trail. Anyone wishing to walk or cycle for the event is asked to do so from the Legion to the bridge. Dupont anticipates the group will arrive at the bridge at 1:30 p.m.
Dupont believes this will be an important part of the event, as he sees it as a way for the community to come together to help heal themselves and to take back the location.
“There’s such a deep sorrow there and it would be nice to be able to change that,” Dupont said. “It’s not only a time for the family to heal but also the community, for the Langford and the Victoria community, to pull together.”
Dupont didn’t know the Proctor family at the time of the murder, but he worked with students and he felt the effects.
“Kids from other districts took days off, because it was such a brutal thing,” Dupont said. “I consider myself a pretty big, tough guy, but when I read some of the more intricate details of what happened I couldn’t sleep for three or four days.”
Members of the Proctor family will be attending portions of the event, and Dupont is hoping friends of Kimberly’s also come out. Dupont has been organizing the event with the blessings and support of Kimberly’s parents, Lucy and Fred Proctor.
He said their own personal healing is an ongoing process, and a tough one at that.
“They’re still hurting,” Dupont said. “When you’ve lost a child, and especially in this manner, strength comes and goes. You have strong days and you have weak days.”
Dupont is expecting up to 200 motorcycle riders to take part. He said the reaction from people has already been overwhelming, with many saying they were bullied as children and want to take part. Dupont said he was especially touched when his own teenage son said he wanted to join the event.
“We’ve touched a nerve and people want more community healing,” Dupont said.
Dupont is hoping the event becomes annual.