01/30/2015 03:08 EST | Updated 04/01/2015 05:59 EDT

Ryan Walter wants 'tough' men to join campaign against domestic violence

A group of B.C.'s "toughest men" are tackling domestic violence, telling other men there's nothing macho about abusing women.

"It's guys like you and I and others that can help to hold each other accountable to not do this," former NHL player and coach Ryan Walter told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

Walter is one of the 10 men behind the B.C.'s Toughest Men campaign, along with other athletes and business leaders.

"If we want to be tough in the right way, it's really protecting our family. It's not lashing out against our family. Love is really ... taking care of our people," he said.

On mobile? Click here to watch Ryan Walter talk about why he's speaking out against domestic violence.

Last year, spousal homicides hit a five-year high in B.C., with the partners of 14 women accused of their killings.

"Maybe we've been silent for too long. Maybe guys like you and I need to step out and say it's unacceptable. Inside the room — if we were to use the hockey metaphor or the football metaphor — inside that dressing room, great teams hold each other accountable."

The B.C.'s Toughest Men campaign is asking other men to take a pledge to stand against domestic violence, and is raising money towards building new housing for women and children fleeing violent homes through Richmond's Chimo Community Services.

The campaign launches Sunday — the same day as the Superbowl — an event where domestic violence will be part of the conversation.

This year, following the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson scandals, the NFL donated ad time and production costs to advocacy group to create a Public Service Announcement addressing domestic violence.

To hear the full interview with Ryan Walter, click the audio labelled: B.C. 'tough guys' against domestic violence.

On mobile? Click here to see's Superbowl PSA.