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Targeting child sexual abuse

Targeting child sexual abuse taken 1/22/16 KTUL

The panelists were all there, but there were more than a few available seats in the audience. In part perhaps because of the subject matter, child sexual abuse.

It's a tough topic for a lot of people to talk about. "And that's the problem. It's so tough that nobody wants to address it," said Sandra Givens of Save Our Youth.

Sandra Givens of Save Our Youth is trying to help change that.

Tonight's forum brought together everyone from biker's against child abuse...

"We help out a lot of children every day," said one member.

To a quilt maker, very familiar to Tulsa's Channel 8 viewers.

"This quilt is not only in memory of Ryan Luke but 35 other children who died that year from child abuse and neglect," said Yvonne Lewis, former anchor, current child advocate, giving voice to victims.

"Baby Christina was from Muskogee, she was a newborn that was tossed from a car," she said.

One of the messages stressed that stranger danger is over-hyped.

"Most of the time when it's sexual abuse it's somebody that they know, it's somebody that has befriended them," said Givens.

"It took me a long time to realize that this ain't my fault," said Michael Wall, sharing his story of sexual abuse at the hands of someone he knew.

"I always kept it on the hush hush because it's just, for one it was to me it was embarrassing. I felt like I was doing something wrong," he said.

Today, he's sharing his story and helping people recognize the signs that something is wrong.

"Don't ignore your kids, just because they've having behavioral problems doesn't mean that they're bad kids. There might be something lying deep beneath the surface that they may be wanting to tell but they just don't know how," he said.

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