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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

Academic takes Afrikaans to community
2009-09-11

 
Ms Corlietha Swart, lecturer in Linguistics in the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at the University of the Free State, expresses her passion for Afrikaans through her involvement with various community projects like the Bloemfonteinse Skrywersvereniging, of which she is the chairperson. This project has approximately 145 members countrywide. Annually this vibrant society, which turns 40 next year, organises a national writing competition which has grown into the largest of its kind with approximately 1 054 entries this year, including those from overseas. A workshop for budding writers is also presented annually and is attended free of charge by the prize winners of the writing competition as part of their prizes. During this year’s event, the publication Inkvars 2009, which contains the winning contributions of the winners of the national writing competition, was launched. Ms Swart compiled the publication’s volume of creative contributions which also contains the adjudicators’ reports and is a handy guide for teachers of creative writing classes. Pictured at the workshop from the left, front, are: Ms Swart (Chairperson: BSV), Prof. Hans du Plessis (Presenter), Mrs Cecilia van der Linde (Vice-Chairperson: BSV). Back, from the left, are: Mr Kassie Joubert (Committee Member: BSV), Mrs Christa Jonker-Jordaan (Committee Member: BSV) and Ms Magda Janse van Rensburg (Treasurer: BSV).
Photo: Supplied

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