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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

New first-year students welcomed at the UFS

In a light mood at the welcoming ceremony were Mr Eric Bost (USA Ambassador to South Africa) and Prof. Teuns Verschoor (Acting Rector of the UFS).
Photo: Hannes Pieterse

New first-year students welcomed at the UFS

The Acting Rector and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Teuns Verschoor, has welcomed the new first-year students during a ceremony on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein today.

“This new experience is an opportunity to not only make your own decisions but to develop and grow as a person. Make your mark, don’t leave a stain,” he said.

Mr Eric Bost, Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) to South Africa, also addressed the students and their parents.

“This is an opportunity to acquire knowledge and to make a positive difference in your lives and the lives of others,” he said.

He also urged students not to judge people on their ignorance of a view but to asses others based on their character and abilities.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
9 January 2009

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