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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

Establishment of International Institute for Diversity gains momentum
2009-03-30

 
Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS, and Prof. Allen
Photo: Supplied
Prof. Josephine Allen, Emeritus Professor at Cornell University, USA, met with representatives of executive management, staff and students of the University of the Free State (UFS) during March as part of a consultative process with the university community in the establishment of the proposed International Institute for Diversity (IID).

The establishment of the IID follows the closure of the Reitz Residence in 2008. The Institute will be established on the same premises. The IID is envisaged as a centre of academic excellence for studying transformation and diversity in society – a living laboratory for combating discrimination and enabling and enhancing reconciliation in societies grappling with the issues of racism, sexism and xenophobia.

It is planned that the IID will be a multidisciplinary and multidimensional Institute with institutional governance and research responsibilities in the broad context of diversity management, and a fundamental commitment towards inclusiveness.

Prof. Allen said: “The consultation process is an important aspect of the establishment of the IID to ensure that all institutional stakeholders contribute to the project from beginning to end.”

Prof. Allen will continue her Fulbright Fellowship at the UFS this year, following an initial research period of six months in 2008.

A number of senior specialists will join UFS for different periods during 2009 and 2010, with major support from the USA Embassy and the Fulbright Programme in South Africa, to assist and advise on the establishment and roll-out of the IID.

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