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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

The best black and white learners must come and study here
2009-09-17

 
At the meeting, arranged by the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, were from the left: Mr Tshdiso Makoelle, Clocolan High School; Mr Braam van Wyk, St Michael's School in Bloemfontein; Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS); Mr Izak Coetzee, Dr Blok Secondary School in Bloemfontein and Mr Okkie Botha, Witteberg High School in Bethlehem.
Photo: Stephen Collett
 “I want to make this university one of the best universities in the country and in the world. For this I will need the support of principals and teachers.” These were the words of Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS) during a recent meeting with school principals held on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein, which was arranged by the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.

“I want the best black and white learners to come and study here and therefore I am going to visit schools in the region to find out how we can attract the best learners,” he said.
The most important influence on learners is their teachers and principal. “This why I need the support of teachers and principals to guide their learners to come and study here,” said Prof. Jansen.

Prof. Jansen said that it was of no use to work with Grade 11 and 12 learners only as it was mostly too late to change their minds. He wants to work with Grade 10 learners and make them excited about university life so that they will know what the UFS can offer them. He will also visit poor and rural schools and tell them about the UFS.

“When a Kovsie graduate walks down the street something must distinguish him/her from other graduates. Our graduates must be able to work anywhere in the world,” he said.

“Students must have the ability to live with other people and to be comfortable around people who look and speak differently than them. I want our students to be multi-lingual and to be comfortable around other students and people in terms of religion, race, language, etc. Students who do not have this added value will not be successful in the market,” he said.

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  
16 September 2009

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