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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

Africa still yearns for democracy says academic
2009-05-26

Leading academic Prof Achille Mbembe (pictured), says that in spite of substantial changes the African continent is still yearning for democracy.

Prof Mbembe was delivering a lecture commemorating Africa Day at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

He said many Africans feel that democracy and the law, including the paramount law – the constitution itself - have betrayed them.

“Many have a feeling that they have not yet lived fully or fulfilled their lives, that they might not or might never fulfill their lives.”

Prof Mbembe, who originates from Cameroon and has been living in South Africa for nine years , said that what struck him about this country in this democratic era was that many people are still yearning for a return to the past.

He said many black South Africans know that the advent of democracy has not provided them with the kind of life they hoped for.

“If anything, democracy has rendered life even more complex than before,” he said.

“South Africa is still a nation where too many black people possess almost nothing.

“Real freedom means freedom from race,” he said. “The kind of freedom that South Africa is likely to enjoy because this nation will have built a society, a culture and a civilization in which the colour of one’s skin will be superfluous in the overall calculus of dignity, opportunity, rights and obligations,” Prof Mbembe said.

“This freedom will originate, purely and simply, from our being human.”

Prof Mbembe is currently a Research Professor in History and Politics at the University of the Witwatersrand in the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research. He has written extensively on African history and politics.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
26 May 2009
 

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