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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

Prof. Jonathan to take up office on 1 July 2009
2009-03-24

Our new Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, has indicated that he will take up office on 1 July 2009.

Speaking here at the Main Campus in Bloemfontein today after discussions with members of Council, Prof. Jonathan said he was deeply humbled by the overwhelmingly positive reception he has received from all quarters on and off campus following the announcement of his appointment.

“I have received telephone calls, e-mails, SMSs and messages from people who have nothing but support and seemingly lots of advice for me, which has humbled me tremendously. I am truly grateful for the trust shown in me by so many people I have not even met.

“This generosity and warmth is something that has reinforced my view that the University of the Free State is indeed a very special place for so many people and a place that I am honoured to serve as Rector and Vice-Chancellor.”

Prof. Jonathan said he would dedicate his first few months in office to a listening campaign to learn about the issues and concerns that are on people’s minds as well as the initiatives and developments at our university that make them proud of our institution.

“This is an important step because I don’t want to come across as some know-it-all who can come here and tell people this is what they should do. It is also an important step to get people talking and united about a common vision for the academic institution that the UFS is. It will have to be about the twin imperatives of racial reconciliation and academic excellence.

“In this process of listening and learning no-one will be excluded. I will talk to people on campus and off campus, including academic staff, support staff, the Qwaqwa Campus, students, parents, alumni, local business, the religious community, and our sport persons.

“I must also add that I have now bought my Cheetah and Bloemfontein Celtic jerseys, difficult as it was for me.”

Media Release
Issued by: Anton Fisher
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2749
Cell: 072 207 8334
E-mail: fishera.stg@ufs.ac.za  

 

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