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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

Four Kovsies to Rugby World Championships in Japan

Robert Ebersohn

Lionel Cronje

Coenie Oosthuizen

Sias Ebersohn


Four students of the University of the Free State (UFS) were included in the SA U/20 group of rugby players that will leave on Sunday, 31 May 2009 for Japan to participate in the International Rugby Board’s U/20 World Championships. Robert Ebersohn, Sias Ebersohn, Coenie Oosthuizen and Lionel Cronjé of the UFS form part of the group of 26 players that were selected by the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to represent South Africa. Robert, Springbok Sevens star and Vodacom Free State Cheetahs centre was elected as captain of the group.

The SA team will play against Fiji on Friday, 5 June and against Italy on Tuesday, 9 June. On Saturday, 13 June, they will take on France.

In preparation for the championship the South African U/20 team played against the Boland Cavaliers Absa Currie Cup team, beating them 33-14. Sias Ebersohn was the chief points scorer of the match.

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