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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

Marjolein Sêr Group to compete in America
2009-04-03

 
Prof. Ezekiel Moraka, Vice-Rector: Student Affairs at the UFS and the Sêr Group of Majolein residence.
Photo: Hannes Pieterse
A group of 17 female students from the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Marjolein Hostel have been selected to represent the university in an international a capella singing competition in New York, USA on 18 April 2009.

It is the first time that a South African singing group will take part in this competition.

The group has been singing together with coach Ms Marisan Nienkemper since 2006. In that year they obtained a second place and in 2008 they won the UFS’s serenade competition as well as received the prize for the best newly-composed a capella song. They also competed in the national university serenade competition in August 2008.

Ms Nienkemper contacted Ms Amanda Newman, the executive director of Varsity Vocals in the USA at the end of last year. Based on a video audition, she invited the group to compete in the international competition. She also regarded the group as having a high standard.

“We are extremely proud of Marjolein. Student life is an important part of higher education institutions and of the total development of students. The fact that one of our residences qualified for this competition is an indication of the vibrancy of our student life,” said Prof. Ezekiel Moraka, Vice-Rector: Student Affairs of the UFS.

The group will be leaving South Africa on 11 April 2009. The competition will take place at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

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  
2 April 2009

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