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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

UFS academic leaves for national parliament
2009-05-28

The Head of the Department of Afro-asiatic Studies, Sign Language and Language Practice at the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof Annelie Lotriet (pictured), is leaving the university at the end of this month.

Prof Lotriet has been seconded to the national parliament as a member of the Democratic Alliance’s shadow cabinet responsible for arts and culture.

“I am very sad to go because I think I am leaving the university at a point where there are many changes coming and I think we are going to go into a very interesting and challenging time at this university with our new rector taking office one of these days,” she said.

“On that point I am actually sad that I am not going to be here to experience it because I think the university has all the potential to become one of the main role players in higher education in South Africa and, obviously, I will be watching it with interest.”

Prof Lotriet has worked for the UFS for 25 years and regards language and multilingualism as her passion. She reflected on her major achievement: “I think what still stands out for me was the fact that we ran the interpreting service for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and that made an indelible impact on my life. We were involved in it right from the start to the end. We really put interpreting on the map.”

Mr Philemon Akach, a senior lecturer in the department, will act in her position until the end of the year.

“I have full confidence in him,” she said. “He is a world-renowned expert in interpreting and sign language, so I think the department is in good hands.”

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




 

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