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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

Asive humbled by new responsibility
2017-09-27

Description: TEDxUFS   Tags: TEDxUFS

Asive Dlanjwa, President of the Student Representative
Council (SRC) on the Bloemfontein Campus, and Pura
Mgolombane, Dean of Student Affairs, during the
announcement of the 2017/2018 SRC.
Photo: Johan Roux

Nothing humbles him more than the fact that thousands of students had chosen to put their weight, hopes, and dreams behind him. The emotions Asive Dlanjwa felt when he was announced as the new President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) on the Bloemfontein Campus reveals something about his character.

He clearly understands the weight of the responsibility on his shoulders. Asive, who loves the church and cycling, says he felt a variety of emotions when he was announced as president on 31 August 2017 at the Thakaneng Bridge.

“It was an exciting feeling, but more than anything, it was such a humbling feeling; humbled not only by the excitement of the students when I was announced, but also by the fact that thousands of students had chosen to put their weight, hopes, and dreams behind me!”

Two main objectives

Asive and his SRC have two main objectives – to improve access to the university and advance the integration of our off-campus students into the greater campus community. The Bachelor of Commerce student from Umtata says there are several issues and initiatives his SRC will be tackling – all of them flowing from these objectives.

Including off-campus students

Asive says the SRC will seek to improve access to the university and its various offerings, and to also provide the necessary support to ensure their success. “Also within this objective would be to decisively deal with all forms of exclusion, from academic to financial to social and cultural exclusions perpetuated by systems and policies.”

With regards to off-campus students, he says university life previously revolved around residence life. He means the remains of that are still evident, to the detriment of the greater student community who are off-campus students.

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