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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

Oncology department celebrates 50 years of excellence
2017-09-07

  Description: Oncology photo Tags: Oncology, cancer, University of the Free State, UFS, Dr Alicia Sherriff, Faculty of Health Sciences

The UFS Department of Oncology celebrated 50 years of
existence. Prof Louis Goedhals says that the department
is like a family that will carry and support you.
Photo: Wendy Ruth
 



South Africa could see an increase of 78% in the number of cancer cases by 2030 and from a global perspective, a 75% increase is expected, increasing the total incidence of all new cancer cases from 12.7 million in 2008 to 22.2 million by 2030, according to a recent study published by medical journal Lancet. According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), more than 100 000 South Africans are diagnosed each year. It is rather comforting that the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Faculty of Health Sciences has an Oncology department that has been fighting cancer for 50 years. 

Excellence over the decades 
The 50-year celebration of the Department of Oncology took place at the UFS Centenary Complex on the Bloemfontein Campus on 19 August 2017. The auspicious event was attended by UFS Faculty of Health Sciences registrars, radiation oncology radiographers and professional nurses who had trained in the department over the past 50 years, as well as the current departmental staff.

Dr Alicia Sherriff, Head of the Department of Oncology welcomed the dignitaries and thanked everyone for their attendance and dedication to the department, Prof Louis Goedhals, the oldest surviving head of department, gave a summary of the 50 years. He said once you were involved with this department you became part of a family that would carry and support you. Memories were shared and friendships rekindled. The message of this department that stood the test of time was: “To cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always … and to bring hope”.

UFS dignitaries reveled in the moment 

Among the special guests were the Rector and Vice Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, Prof Gert van Zyl, Dean of Faculty of Health Sciences; the Free State MEC for Health Mr Butana Komphela, and CEO of Universitas Hospital Dr Marcus Molokomme, were invited. The function was well attended by personnel, graduates from as far as Portugal, and dignitaries from the university. There was a sense of unity and belonging among all the attendees and enthusiastic catching up over the years that have passed.

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