Because of the uncompromising divide

TO THE EDITOR

Polarized sunglasses are a good thing, polarized politics is not; it only fosters distrust and yes, even hatred, among political supporters and politicians alike. One sees and hears this in the various news media sources, in conversations with others, in letters to the editor, on blogs. etc. Unfortunately, our political and social system has been polarized for a very long time. Positive political and social progress is not and cannot be made because of this.

I'm not a Buddhist, but the Dalai Lama has said and written that humanity should not fall into the trap of choosing excesses (including political) in either direction. This leads to one side being the winner and the other being the loser, which only intensifies the distrust and hatred between the two factions. Buddhist philosophy is to seek the middle way where compromise can be sought and acceptable solutions for all can be achieved. Thus, no faction becomes the complete winner or a total loser.

Today, it seems, political conservatives view anyone who doesn't agree with them as liberals and vise-versa. There appears to be no room for moderates in our government anymore. If they exist, their views are drowned-out and ignored over the shouting and screaming that's being

constantly blasted by the politically and socially polarized. To reiterate, positive political and social progress is not and cannot be made because of this uncompromising divide. A tragic situation, indeed.

Kurt Sroka

Somerset

Turningpoint April events

TO THE EDITOR

April is a busy month at Turningpoint as we raise awareness around child abuse, sexual assault and crime victims' rights. This year we are celebrating 40 years of serving our community and empowering survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Pierce and St. Croix counties. In this letter, we highlight prevention and invite the community to join us in our efforts.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. During this month we recognize the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and promote the social and emotional well-being of children. Here at Turningpoint, we provide services to children and youth who have experienced both physical and sexual abuse, as well as offering preventive education throughout Pierce and St. Croix counties.

National Crime Victim Rights' Week is April 7-13. This year's theme - Honoring Our Past and Creating Hope for the Future - encourages honor and respect toward the crime victim advocates, allied professionals, and selfless volunteers who have worked for increased rights for crime victims. The theme also invites us to look toward a future of inclusive, accessible, and innovative resources and services for all survivors.

The month of April is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. We all play a role in ending violence, from modeling healthy behavior to addressing inappropriate conduct. You can help by calling out victim-blaming comments or rape jokes in person and on social media. Remind those around you that sexual assault is never the victim's fault. Believe survivors when they share their stories. Seemingly small actions like this make a critical impact.

To raise awareness, Turningpoint invites you to join us at the following family friendly, community events. This year, Hands Around the Courthouse will take place at 11:30 a.m. April 16 at the St. Croix County Government Center. This event focuses on child abuse prevention and crime victim rights. Stop by for the local food trucks, information on victim services, and a live program beginning at noon.

The annual Take Back the Night rally will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 25 at St. Bridget's Church in River Falls. This event focuses on ending sexual violence, promoting healthy sexuality and showing support for victims. Come for the pizza, creative and informative booths, and candlelight vigil.

Turningpoint staff

Pierce and St. Croix counties