Off Limits

A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse

by Sandy K. Wurtele, Ph.D. and Feather Berkower, M.S.W.

Off Limits

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With stories about sexual offenders so often in the news, parents may find themselves asking, “Is there anything I can do to protect my children?” The answer is a resounding yes, according to the authors of the new book Off Limits: A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse published by Safer Society Press.

In Off Limits, Sandy K. Wurtele and Feather Berkower, two of the leading child sexual abuse prevention experts, have assembled 32 Safety Tips parents can use to make their kids, their homes, and their communities “Off Limits” to sexual offending.

Wurtele and Berkower describe their goal for the book as providing a “tool kit” for keeping kids safe from abuse. “You can readily apply what you have learned in this book to your own family,” they write, “as well as to your children’s schools, youth organizations, sports teams, communities of faith, and other groups to which they belong.”

Readers of Off Limits will come away with an understanding of how sexual abuse happens, and a plan of action to shield children from abusers. The authors describe four survivors of child sexual abuse to show typical examples of abuse and how knowledgeable adults might have intervened. Sample dialogue gives parents ways to begin discussing sexual abuse and safety issues with their kids.

The authors have created a common-sense, practical guide that is not only of interest to parents, but to anyone concerned with the well-being of children.

Appendix 1 of Off Limits collects all of the safety tips and guidelines for creating Off Limits kids, homes, and communities. These tips and guidelines can be downloaded and printed for personal use free of charge:

Or individually:

These sheets are copyrighted by Sandy K. Wurtele and Feather Berkower.

About the Authors

Sandy K. Wurtele, Ph.D. is a psychologist and professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She currently directs the undergraduate program and chairs the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects. She has been studying childhood sexual abuse (CSA) since 1986 and is recognized as an international expert in CSA prevention. Dr. Wurtele is the author of educational and scholarly materials for professionals, parents, and children (available at  She is a popular conference speaker and workshop facilitator.

Feather Berkower is a 25-year veteran in child sexual abuse prevention. Using a community-oriented approach, she has trained over 70,000 school children and 35,000 parents. Her well-regarded workshop, Parenting Safe Children, empowers adults to keep children safe from sexual abuse. She presents in homes, schools, youth organizations, parenting groups, and businesses. Before founding Parenting Safe Children, Berkower managed a regional chapter of the Child Assault Prevention Program, which delivers school-based curricula that helps keep children and teens safe from bullying and sexual assault. Berkower is a licensed clinical social worker and holds a Master’s of Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. She conducts media interviews, workshops, and private consultations throughout the United States regarding issues of child safety and child sexual assault prevention. Berkower lives in Colorado with her husband. For more information, visit

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