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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

Armentum decision taken out of context
2009-05-15

STATEMENT BY PROF. EZEKIEL MORAKA, VICE-RECTOR: STUDENT AFFAIRS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE FREE STATE IN RESPONSE TO THE MAIN ARTICLE IN VOLKSBLAD OF 15 MAY 2009

It is unfortunate that the University of the Free State’s (UFS) attempts to protect our students and to ensure that an atmosphere conducive to learning in our residences prevails are now taken out of context and equated to the process of increasing diversity in our residences.

We have a responsibility as a university to protect our students and staff – this includes minority groups like first-year students – and we will continue to do so. The Residence Committees and Residence Heads also have a responsibility to ensure that this atmosphere prevails in our residences.

In accordance with the decision on increasing diversity in the university’s Main Campus residences by our Council, the UFS has a responsibility to protect minorities against the dominance of other groups and to ensure that students respect one another.

The incident at House Armentum is clearly an act of the violation of human rights and cannot be left unattended.

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  
15 May 2009

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