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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

Project aims to boost science pass rate
2009-01-19

 
Attending the launch of the HP grant of about R1 million to the UFS are, from the left: Mr Leon Erasmus, Country Manager for HP Technology Services in South Africa, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS, and Mr Cobus van Breda, researcher at the UFS's Centre for Education Development and manager of the project.
Photo: Lacea Loader
The University of the Free State (UFS), in partnership with computer giant Hewlett Packard (HP), wants to boost the pass rate of its science students by using mobile technology.

The UFS is one of only 15 universities across Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the only university in South Africa to receive a grant from HP to promote mobile technology for teaching in higher education valued at USD$ 100,000 (or about R1 million). Altogether 80 universities from 28 countries applied for the grant.

“Last year HP invited a number of selected universities to submit proposals in which they had to explain how they are going to utilise mobile technologies in the redesign of a course that is presented at the university. The proposal of the Centre for Education Development (CED) at the UFS entitled “Understanding Physics through data logging” was accepted,” says Mr Cobus van Breda, researcher at CED and manager of the project.

According to Mr van Breda, students who do not meet the entrance requirements for the three-year B.Sc. programme have to enroll for the four-year curriculum with the first year actually preparing them for the three-year curriculum.

In order to increase the success rate of these students, the project envisages to enhance their understanding of science principles by utilising the advantages of personal computer (PC) tablet technology and other information and communication technologies (ICT) to support effective teaching and learning methodology.

“By using PC tablet technology in collaboration with data-logging software, a personal response system, the internet and other interactive ICT applications, an environment different from a traditional teaching milieu is created. This will consequently result in a different approach to addressing students’ learning issues,” says Mr van Breda.

The pilot project was launched during the fourth term of 2008 when 130 first-year B.Sc. students (of the four-year curriculum) did the practical component of the physics section of the Concepts in General Science (CGS) module by conducting experiments in a computerised laboratory, using data-logging software amongst other technology applications. “The pilot project delivered good results and students found the interactive application very helpful,” says Mr van Breda.

”The unique feature of the latter is the fact that real-life data can be collected with electronic sensors and instantly presented as computer graphs. It can then be analysed and interpreted immediately, thus more time can be devoted to actual Science principles and phenomena and less time on time-consuming data processing,” says Mr van Breda.

The CGS module can be seen as a prerequisite for further studies in physics at university level and in this regard it is of essence to keep looking for new models of learning and teaching which can result in student success. This year the theoretical and practical component of the physics section of the CGS programme will be done in an integrated manner.

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  
16 January 2009
 

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