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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

Rev Jaftha heads interim steering committee on community engagement
2008-11-20

 
The group that attended the first meeting of the proposed National Community Engagement Managers’ Forum.
 Delegates, representing 13 higher educations institutions (HEIs) across South Africa, attended the first meeting of the proposed National Community Engagement Managers’ Forum in Stellenbosch.

Prof. Julian Smith, Vice-Rector: Community Interaction and Personnel of the Stellenbosch University (SU) delivered the keynote address “Consolidating community engagement at South African universities”. In his address he referred to the following: particularities of managing community service (CS) at HEIs, general management areas applicable to CS, the international and national impulses that pertain to CS, concepts and terminology and the lessons learnt, particularly in the case of SU.

Prof. Priscilla Daniels delivered a presentation on the Community-Higher Education-Services-Partnership (CHESP) initiative of the Joint Education Trust (JET) Education Services, as an important intervention in South African universities to support service-learning over the past ten years. Delegates had an opportunity to share their approaches to community service and community service learning as well as their challenges.

Steps were taken towards the establishment of a national forum for Community Engagement Managers. Issues that were discussed were the purpose, strategy, structure, relationship to other national and international structures as well as funding for community engagement initiatives at HEIs.

An interim steering committee, with Rev Kiepie Jaftha, Chief Director Community Service at the University of the Free State (UFS) as the convener, was elected to take the process further. The next meeting of the forum will be held at the UFS towards the end of March 2009.
 

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