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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

Placing of new first-year students in residences to change
2009-09-12

As of 2010, new first-year students who study at the University of the Free State (UFS) will be fully integrated in the residences. This will be done as part of the university’s objective to increase diversity in its residences.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, made this proposal to the UFS Council yesterday during its quarterly meeting as an alternative to his idea of having exclusively first-year residences as of next year. The proposal was unanimously supported by the Council.

“I have discussed my idea of having first-year residences widely with many stakeholders and, based on the feedback I received, decided not to go ahead, but to make a proposal to Council that first-year students be placed in residences with a 50/50 racial balance in which no student grouping dominates. It is a proposal that most role players are comfortable with and which will cause the least disruption to our senior students,” said Prof. Jansen.

“We must create a new culture in our residences. Our residences must be places where academic work enjoys priority in the organisation and culture of the residences. The university has many goals, one of which is that students learn to live and learn together so that they are better equipped to face the challenges of the modern workplace,” he said.

From next year, new first-year students will be placed centrally in residences by the university management, with some participation of senior students.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Deputy Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
12 September 2009

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