TORONTO – Theo Fleury has begun his “Victor Walk” to Ottawa to raise awareness about childhood sexual abuse.
The former NHL star began his ten-day trek from the Child Abuse Monument in Toronto Tuesday morning. The walk will cover more than 450 km and will end on Parliament Hill on May 23.
“We know we’ve hit a nerve,” reads a statement on the Victor Walk website. “People want to better protect our children from pedophiles, greater national awareness about the epidemic of child sexual abuse and much more access to funding for those groups and organizations who provide healing for victims, survivors, victors and advocates.”
Fleury, who was sexually abused by disgraced hockey coach Graham James in the 1980s, has previously said that the justice system “re-victimizes” those who have suffered from child abuse by being too lenient on the perpetrators.
Fleury and his supporters demand the federal government impose tougher sentences on pedophiles and are pushing for a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for each count of sexual abuse, to be served consecutively.
“The core of every issue we have in society starts with trauma in childhood,” said Fleury in an interview with Global Toronto’s The Morning Show on Monday. “If we don’t deal with that, if we don’t deal with the full cycle, including the pedophiles and we don’t get people the healing that they need, then the cycle will just continue over and over again.”
A full schedule of the ‘Victor Walk’ can be seen below:
May 14: Toronto to Oshawa
May 15: Oshawa to Pontypool
May 16: Pontypool to Peterborough
May 17: Peterborough to Havelock
May 18: Havelock to Madoc
May 19: Madoc to Elm Tree
May 20: Elm Tree to Maberly
May 21: Maberly to McCullough
May 22: McCullough to Stittsville
May 23: Stittsville to Ottawa