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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

Appeal Court Judge delivers inaugural lecture at the UFS
2009-09-16

 
Judge of Appeal, Belinda (BJ) van Heerden an expert on child and family law, recently delivered her inaugural lecture as Professor Extraordinary in the Department of Criminal and Medical Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS). With the topic Chicken soup Jurisprudence: Implementing children’s rights in South Africa she focused, amongst others, on the history of the implementation of children’s rights in South Africa. The picture of today is a whole lot different than that of twenty years ago. “We have invested in our children, we have begun to treat them as worthy citizens,” she said. According to her, children’s rights is one of the best success stories of our South African democracy so far. At the occasion were, from the left, front: Prof. Hennie Oosthuizen, Head of the Department of Criminal and Medical Law at the UFS; back: Judge Van Heerden, Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS; and Dr Neels Swanepoel of the Department of Law of Procedure and Law of Evidence at the UFS.
Photo: Stephen Collett

Attached also please find the complete lecture.

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