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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

Statement regarding pulping of books by the UFS Sasol Library
2017-12-07


With reference to reports in the media and social media since 5 December 2017 about the pulping of books by the UFS Sasol Library, the executive management of the University of the Free State (UFS) would like to put the matter into perspective.
 
The book collection of the library is governed by a Library Committee of Senate, and no books can be removed from the library without formal approval from the committee. The university values the wealth of knowledge preserved in the library, and will not act irresponsibly with its collection.
 
Although the executive management takes note of the comments of some concerned organisations and members of the public in the media and social media the past couple of days, no books were removed from the library and sent to be pulped – only bound journals of which the university has online versions. These are journals that have been removed from the journal section for quite some time, and have not been used for a considerable number of years.
 
The decision to reduce the size of the collection to at least 35%, and to secure remote storage in close proximity of the library in Bloemfontein for some of the collections, was taken after a thorough external review of the library in 2014 as well as a gap review this year.
 
Two aspects were actioned after the review: books which have not been used at all in the past 20 years were moved to a storeroom in the library; journals removed from the journal section which have not been used actively for quite some time and which are not available online or cannot be found elsewhere through any means, will be moved to a remote storage in Bloemfontein and be retrieved as the need arises.
 
The only journals sent for pulping were those readily available online through current subscriptions, journals that the library is not subscribed to but are freely available online, journals that have since become Open Access Journals, magazines that have popular titles and are of no academic value, annual reports of societies and associations, and some abstracts. Thorough and responsible evaluation of these bound journals was done before they were sent for pulping.
 
The move of the books to a store room in the library and the removal of the bound journals will provide space to implement recommendations by the task team assigned by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof Francis Petersen, to investigate repurposing the library into a world-class, state-of-the-art library where physical and virtual space is created to support multi-purpose learning spaces for students, collaborative and group learning, and providing space for more innovation in the library through technology, thus enhancing the overall student and user experience.

Released by:
Lacea Loader (Director: Communication and Brand Management)
Telephone: +27 51 401 2584 | +27 83 645 2454
Email: news@ufs.ac.za | loaderl@ufs.ac.za
Fax: +27 51 444 6393

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