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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

More grey areas than just black and white in history?
2017-12-15


Description: Abraham Mlombo readmore Tags: Historic, historian, International Studies Group, ISG  

Dr Abraham Mlombo: As a historian, he draws energy
from the people surrounding him.
Photo: Charl Devenish


 

Very few people understand that their actions and views within a territory stem from their roots or history. To enlighten the reading man on the composition of his base and the intricacies of the powers that are at play, is the work of historians.

Dr Abraham Mlombo is one of these historians, stationed within the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State (UFS).

This research group consists of postgraduate researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and academic staff that focus on African history, although they depart from more traditional study methods  a more global perspective. To date, Dr Mlombo's research examined the historical relations between South Africa and Southern Rhodesia. It was a broad study of the political, economic, social, and cultural relations from 1923 to 1953. He plans to continue by truly exploring the connections between South Africa and the region, and how they shaped one another. Dr Mlombo's interests in cross-border history and politics were inspired by his master’s degree in Political Science at Stellenbosch University. He researched his PhD at the UFS.

He draws energy for his work from the people surrounding him, and likes to be part of new experiences with people from different backgrounds. He feels such environments shape the way one works, as well as one’s world view. Dr Mlombo hints that sometimes, and specifically in South Africa, people focus very narrowly on their history and forget that many international links are at play. He sees his work as a historian to help open people's horizons.

Dr Mlombo suggests that future research should include a more critical analysis of how things unfolded during the second half of the 20th century. Writings should include more social- and people-oriented history, because he thinks there are more grey areas than just black and white. Many more interrogations must also follow into the assumptions of historical events and the individuals who played the greatest roles in Southern Africa.

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