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Ex-NHL player Theo Fleury walking to Ottawa for child abuse laws

Last Updated Sep 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm EDT

Former NHL player Theo Fleury has begun his 10-day walk to Ottawa to raise awareness for childhood sex abuse as well as bring about changes to Canada’s child abuse laws.

Fleury has been outspoken about his own sexual abuse at the hands of his junior hockey coach.

“It’s important that we start to empower victims to be able to tell their stories and come out and start their healing,” he said Tuesday morning at the Child Abuse Monument on Rhodes Avenue, near Gerrard Street East and Coxwell Avenue.

“The Victor Walk is all about that and moving forward and walking straight ahead instead of living in the past.”

The Victor Walk, which began 8 a.m. Tuesday, will end May 23 on Parliament Hill.

Fleury and his supporters want a minimum 15-year sentence for each conviction of child sexual abuse, to be served consecutively; a five-year conviction for those who knew about abuse taking place and did not immediately report it to police; a national registry of pedophiles’ homes and work addresses; and increased funding for victims’ programs.

The walk will also raise money for three charities: the Little Warriors, the Quinte Sexual Assault Centre and the Siksika Nations.

Fleury said participants in the Victor Walk will walk about 40 kilometres a day. You can follow their progress online victorwalk.com or via Twitter @TheoFleury14.