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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

US embassy consolidates relations with the UFS

Delegates from the American Embassy recently visited the University of the Free State (UFS) to strengthen relations and to offer assistance with regards to staff and student development on diversity issues. This was a continuation of the Fulbright scholarship agreement that the UFS has with the American Embassy. As part of this agreement two student leaders, Andries Moekoa (SRC Transformation) and Jamie Turkington (IRAWA editor), will go to the USA next month for six weeks. They will be placed, together with students from other countries, at universities with the same challenges as the UFS. During the visit of the delegates from the American Embassy they had meetings with the Student Representative Councils of the Qwaqwa Campus and the Main Campus, Student Affairs Management, as well as members of the Executive Committee of the Executive Management. Pictured from the left are: Prof Ezekiel Moraka (Vice-Rector: Student Affairs), Mr Andrew Passen (Consulate General: US Embassy), Prof Teuns Verschoor (Acting Rector and Vice-Chancellor), Dr Choice Makhetha (Acting Dean: Student Affairs) and Mr Steven Stark (Public Affairs Officer: US Embassy).
Photo: Stephen Collett

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