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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

Department celebrates 50th anniversary
2009-03-25

 
The first Departmental Head and the subsequent Departmental Chairpersons at the dinner on 14 March this year. From left: Proff Bernard Prior (1991-1998), Piet Lategan (1962-1990), Derek Litthauer (1998-2002) and James du Preez (2002-). These are all the Heads/Chairpersons of the Department since its founding in 1959, with the exception of Prof Hans Potgieter who acted as Head during 1959-1962.
Photo: Stephen Collett
 
Department celebrates 50th anniversary

On 13 March the Department Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology at the University of the Free State (UFS) celebrated its 50th anniversary in a splendid fashion with a lecture entitled, The origin of life: Exactly how did life begin? as part of the Darwin commemorative lecture series, followed by a reunion of current and former staff members and postgraduate students of the department with a barbeque on the following day.

The proceedings were concluded on 14 March with a gala dinner in die Centenary Complex at the UFS attended by 153 staff members, post-graduate students (current and former) and other guests. During the dinner the guests were treated to a presentation of historical photos of the founding and development of the department. Currently the department is one of the largest departments in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences in respect of the number of staff members and students as well as research outputs. This is the result of entrepreneurial actions to increase student numbers and research activities, as well as the merging with the smaller Department of Biochemistry in 1988 and more recently with the Department of Food Science in 2002. The department comprises 20 academics, 24 support staff and 65 postgraduate students. It also boasts 12 lecturers with ratings from the National Research Foundation (NRF), which include three academics with a B-rating, an indication of international recognition for their research. The department has the largest number of lecturers with an NRF-rating at the UFS. 

“It was interesting to learn during the reunion of the variety of professions occupied by former students of the department, i.e. at other tertiary educational institutions, the CSSIR, SAPPI, Sasol and a multitude of other industries, as well as at research institutions in the USA and Australia,” said Prof. James du Preez, Head of the Department.

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