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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

Department arranges special excursion for disabled students
2008-11-26

 

The unique circumstances of students with disabilities often make it difficult for them to attend educational excursions of the Department of Communication and Information Studies. A special excursion was thus arranged for them to the National Museum in Bloemfontein. Work was recently done to make the museum more accessible for persons with disabilities. A lift was installed and exhibitions are equipped with Braille. Many exhibitions are equipped with sound and visitors can also make use of audio players.

Mr Tebogo Mohlakane, educational officer from the National Museum, and a team of well-trained museum guides welcomed the 13 students that were accompanied by Ms Elbie Lombard and other members of the department with open arms. Each student received special attention to make it an unforgettable experience.

Estine Smith, a first-year student with visual impairments, summarised her experience of a stuffed predatory bird which she held in her arms, as awesome. Touching replicas of elephants, rhinos and giraffes was the highlight of Shaun Jooste, a third-year student with visual impairments’ experience. Until recently it was difficult for Tshidiso Molehe to visit the museum with his wheelchair. He is now satisfied with the accessibility of the museum and is looking forward to his next visit to the museum. 
 

Disabled students during their visit to the National Museum.
 
 
 

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