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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

Academic’s work appears in New York publication
2008-12-04

 
 The work of Ms Estelle Heideman of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS), on an HIV/Aids project on farms in the southern Free State, has appeared in On Philanthropy, an online publication in New York, USA. The aim of the project was to equip 40 farm workers on two farms near the town of Philippolis with knowledge and skills regarding HIV/Aids. Ms Heideman has just returned from a two-month scholarship programme at the University of Columbia and the University of California, Los Angeles, where she participated in the MAC AIDS Fund Leadership Initiative. She launched a DVD earlier this year on the project before she left for New York. The On Philanthropy article can be accessed through the following link: Click

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