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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

International Bible scholars attend conference on Apocalyptic Literature and Mysticism
2017-09-18

Description: Bible Scholars Tags: Bible Scholars, UFS Faculty of Theology and Religion, Prof Francis Petersen 

Prof Francis Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor,
second from left, flanked by three
deans of theology: Prof Fanie Snyman (UFS),
Prof Jörg Frey (University of Zurich),
and Prof Gregory Sterling (Yale Divinity School).
Photo: Eugene Seegers


Apocalypticism and mysticism have become two key areas of research that have converged to form the heart of contemporary spirituality. It was with this in mind that leading local and international Bible scholars were invited to a collaborative international conference jointly hosted by the UFS Faculty of Theology and Religion and Yale Divinity School, with the theme Apocalyptic Literature and Mysticism—Investigating a Turn in Recent Apocalyptic Research.

It is perhaps unknown to many that a number of the most profound thinkers, both of Judeo-Christian tradition and other religions in general, were mystics. Their lives and writings speak of a longing for an intimate relationship with God, reflecting on universal existential questions such as understanding our human existence, our creation, and ultimately, the meaning of life.

Apocalypticism, on the other hand, focuses on texts and prophecies describing how an alternative, future world might replace our existing one, a process often cataclysmic in nature, thus, like the mystics, also reflecting on the deeper foundations of human existence and our possible demise.

Traditionally, both have been misunderstood and controversial, but more recent research has revealed their formative role in religious discourses, with many scholars finding growing commonalities between apocalyptic and mystical texts. Moreover, these commonalities help to establish a better understanding of Judeo-Christian traditions, as well as other religions in general.

This hugely successful UFS collaborative effort, as well as others of its kind, contribute to the growth of theology as a discipline, with a positive impact on the broader religious community, the church, and society as a whole in the common desire for a just, equitable, and humane world.

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