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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

UFS to celebrate Darwin Year
2008-11-10

The University of the Free State (UFS) will next year be celebrating Darwin Year with a comprehensive programme in which many of its departments will take part. The programme is spearheaded by the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, in cooperation with the National Museum.

“Next year it will be 200 years since the birth of Charles Darwin and 150 years after the publication of the first edition of his famous book ‘On the Origin of Species’”, says Prof. Jo van As, chairperson of the organising committee and head of the Department of Zoology and Entomology at the UFS.

“The programme aims to portray the influence of Darwin’s theory of evolution on various fields in the natural and agricultural sciences. It will start in February 2009 and end a year later in February 2010. We see this as a good opportunity to promote science in its broadest context,” says Prof. Van As.

According to Prof. Van As a scientific lecture programme on evolution and its impact on various fields will be presented on the Main Campus of the UFS in Bloemfontein on a monthly basis throughout next year. These will include topics such as the mechanisms of evolution: heredity and natural selection, extinction, the start of agriculture, human demography, human impact and the resistance to HIV/Aids antibiotics. The theme of the lecture programme is “The Story of Life”.

A stage play to commemorate the life of Darwin and celebrate his contribution to the understanding of life will also be performed during the Volksblad-kunstefees.

The National Museum will host different events and exhibits. “They will participate in the programme presented at the UFS, present temporary exhibitions to coincide with the programme on campus and also present their own events,” says Prof. Van As.

More information about the programme can be obtained from Ms Isabel Human at 051 401 2427 or humanci.rd@ufs.ac.za.


Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
10 November 2008
 

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