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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

Large number of UFS department's staff and students participate in international conferences and workshops
2009-01-19

 
An exceptionally large number of staff and students (25 in total) of the Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology at the University of the Free State (UFS) participated in international conferences and workshops (poster and lecture presentations) and undertook research visits to foreign countries during 2008. This is indicative of the high level of research activities in the department and international involvement. The countries visited included Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Denmark, the United Arab Emirates (Dubai emirate), France, Germany, Greece, Mauritius, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the USA. Here are, from the left, front: Prof. Hugh Patterton, Dr Lizelle Piater, Prof. Lodewyk Kock, Dr Carlien Pohl-Albertyn, Prof. Rob Bragg, Ms Sonia van Zyl, and Prof. Martie Smit; middle: Profs Garry Osthoff, Esta van Heerden, James du Preez (Departmental Chairperson), Hester Steyn, Ms Carina Bothma, Profs Koos Albertyn, Bennie Viljoen, and Derek Litthauer; back: Ms Liezl Renz, Mr Ruan Ells, Ms Chantal Smith, Mr Walter Müller, Dr Elsabé Botes, Ms Ntsoaki Leeuw, Ms Nathlee Abbai, Dr Khajamohiddin Syed, Ms Kamini Gounder, and Dr Suman Pradhan.
Photo: Supplied

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