A Day for a Victory Walk – The Orange Movement

Today, in Canada, is the day that many are standing up and walking to their government with the demands to support those that have survived Childhood Sexual Abuse.  Theo Fleury, a former NHL superstar, is leading the way.  He has stood up for himself and so many other survivors and is talking openly about his sexual abuse experiences.  You can read his book, Playing with Fire, for a full account of his journey through his abuse and how it effected him for so many years after.

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. He is raising money for three charities: the Little Warriors, the Quinte Sexual Assault Centre and the Siksika Nations.

 

Why a Frog?

 

Meet Victor

Victor the Frog

Let me introduce you to Victor.

Theo Fleury shares how Victor came to be the symbol of hope for childhood sexual abusers and the Victory Walk:

“A couple of years ago I was invited to an aboriginal conference in Bella Coola, BC. I had a couple of hours before the conference, and a young historian from the Nuxalk Tribe asked me to join him on a hike. We went up into the mountains to a clearing where a river with crystal clean water ran. I cupped my hand into the stream and drank ~ it was pure and sweet.

All around in the clearing were rock carvings hundreds of years old. Each carving represented an animal, and one in particular caught my attention…a frog.

The historian asked me a question that would come to define my very soul, he asked “Have you ever seen a frog hop backwards?” No, I had to admit I hadn’t.

He went on to tell me that the frog can look left and right, but he never goes backwards…he only ever goes forwards.

Since then I have seen literally hundreds of depictions of frogs wherever I go…in fact, I had one tattooed on my arm.

You see, the frog is me. I can look left, I can look right, but I can never go backwards.”

 

Why is Be Brave Ranch and Little Warriors so important?

Little Warriors, created by Glori Meldrum,  is a non profit organization focussed on helping victims of childhood sexual abuse. They describe, on their website, Be Brave Ranch and why it’s necessary like this:

“Canada desperately needs the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch. It’s that simple.

Throughout the country there are dozens of “therapeutic centres” dedicated to the “rehabilitation” of child rapists, but not a single long term treatment facility devoted to the treatment of the damaged victims they’ve left behind. By creating the Be Brave Ranch, Little Warriors is taking a major step towards correcting this baffling inequity.

Vision

To provide a safe and secure place of treatment and healing, aimed at the MIND, BODY, HEART and SPIRIT of child victims and their families.

Mission

  • To provide children who have experience the horror of sexual abuse a safe place to heal.
  • To provide families affected by child sexual abuse a place to deal with their emotions, grief, guilt, and profound anger so they are able to support their children.
  • To provide those in relationships with sexual abuse survivors, a place to learn about symptoms, prevention and how to understand the long lasting effects.”

I admire and respect Theo Fleury for the strength and courage it took to share his story.  He charged his abuser, Graham James.  He speaks regularly to many groups to raise awareness about how rampant childhood sexual abuse is and what is needed to help end it.  I had the pleasure of both reading his book and meeting him at one of his speaking events. Theo Fleury and I Because of people like him, more will come forward and share their stories and possibly charge their abusers.

This Victor Walk represents hope for all survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Through the ability to talk about their abuse, bring their abusers to justice and have a healing process in place to support them, hopefully more victims will come forward.  The legal system needs to better represent the innocent as well as those convicted of these horrible crimes.  Please speak up for those that are too afraid to speak at this point.  As Theo says, “elevate the conversation” and help make it so that it’s no longer taboo.

In sharing my story and the healing I have had to do, I hope that I can be part of the transformation for others to go from Victim to Victor.  Get involved. Tell your story. Support those effected by child sexual abuse.