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14 June 2018 Photo iStock
Dealing with the trauma of sexual assault

University life is supposed to be one of the most enjoyable times of a person’s life. Unfortunately, for some this is the time they may fall victims to sexual assault.
 
The term sexual assault has shockingly become normalised in society and has become a common threat to university students. The University of the Free State (UFS) through its sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence policy strongly condemns any form of sexual abuse. Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director at Student Counselling and Development (UFS) says the university cares for the health and wellbeing of students and provides necessary support for victims of sexual assault and trauma.
 
It is unfortunate that sexual assault comes with many misconceptions that often shift responsibility and blame from the perpetrator to the victim. “It is important to always remember that it is not your fault; do not blame yourself,” says Dr Barnaschone. Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health says sexual assault leaves psychological wounds and sometimes long-lasting health challenges. Such trauma can severely affect a person’s ability to cope with daily academic, social, professional, and personal responsibilities.
 
Any sexual violence is a crime and as a victim, you are not to blame. Healing is achieved when you start to believe that you are not responsible for what happened to you. Visit Helpguide.Org for more information on post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma recovery tips and other related topics.

On this video clip, Dr Barnaschone shares some guidelines to deal with sexual assault and trauma: 

News Archive

University of the Free State strives towards going ‘green’
2017-08-07

 Description: Benedict Mochesela  Tags: Benedict Mochesela  

Benedict Mochesela from University Estates on the
UFS Bloemfontein Campus. A total of thirty brand-new
water storage tanks, between 5 000 and 20 000 litres,
were installed.
Photo: Anja Aucamp


Eight provinces, including the Free State, were declared disaster areas last year due to the ongoing drought. This had a devastating effect on the agricultural sector, leaving many communities dry.

University Estates at the University of the Free State found an ideal project to make university buildings greener. A total of thirty water storage tanks, varying in size from 5 000 to 20 000 litres, were installed at various buildings on the Bloemfontein Campus. As a pilot phase, these tanks were specifically installed at residences and buildings with high traffic volumes.

Importance of water tanks at the UFS
According to Benedict Mochesela, Project Manager of this initiative, the purpose of the project is to harvest rainwater, which will be used during emergencies when the campus does not have water and the emergency water storage facility is depleted. “This water is not intended for drinking, but for the flushing of toilets,” says Mochesela.

He mentioned that the water will also be used for watering flowerbeds and gardens when the water has been standing for a long time without being used.

Recycling water: An initiative to protect the environment
A number of water storage tanks are already in place at the Qwaqwa Campus and a preliminary phase of using grey water from residences is currently ongoing at the South Campus. Grey water is made up of bath, shower, and bathroom sink water. The water is reused for toilet flushing as well as for irrigation purposes.

“Recycling of water is one of a number of initiatives the university intends to undertake to ensure and show the community that this institution remains conscious of the environment and to changes which we continuously need to adapt to.”

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