Friday, May 13, 2011

Book Review: Off Limits

This book should be required reading for any concerned parent.  My naiveté about sexual abuse has made me an ill-prepared to arm my children in this increasingly dangerous world.  Off Limits: A Parent’s Guide to Keeping Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse helped bridge this gap for me.  It was a superb book.
Topics include identifying traits of those who abuse, learning the process those abusers use to get a child to submit, equipping children with a plan on how to handle a situation if they encounter one, teaching children about body safety and making your home safe, and  talking to caregivers about safety, to name a few.
The book is filled with nuggets or “safety tips”.  For example, one was making a rule about not keeping secrets in your family.  Surprises are okay, but secrets are not.  Surprises are fun to keep and are eventually told.  Secrets don’t feel good to keep and are not ever meant to be shared.  It’s important for kids to learn the differences and to teach them how to respond to a potential abuser.  The “my family doesn’t keep secrets from each other” comment has actually dissuaded admitted sexual abusers.   They simply found another kid who would keep a secret.
Off Limits also covers on-line predators, an increasing danger with the explosion of media use among older children and teens.  The book even goes on discuss how to help a child if he is abused or how to help children/teens who abuse others.  There are many resources included in the appendix as well.
So thorough, so researched, so informative, so practical.  I strongly recommend Off Limits by Sandy Wurtele and Feather Berkower.
Here's their website for more info:

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