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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

Cluster offers workshop about soil health
2009-10-12

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) Strategic Cluster 4 (Technologies for Sustainable Crop Industries in Semi-arid Regions) recently presented a workshop about soil health on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein. According to Prof. Wijnand Swart, Director of the Cluster, this topic currently enjoys high priority within the cluster. The workshop was presented to create awareness amongst all interested parties in agriculture about the important role that soil micro-organisms play in crop industries. Research in the cluster follows a “total system approach” by analysing the biodiversity of specific agronomic systems with the aim to develop so-called bio-indicators for the general health of agro-ecosystems. Dr Jill Clapperton from the University of Leithbridge in Canada and the University of Montana in the USA presented four papers during the workshop. Dr Clapperton is a scientist who has gained a lot of international prominence in the field of soil ecology and environmental health. Qualitative and quantitative responses of bio-diversity in time and space on agricultural practices, such as, amongst others, tilling as opposed to non-tilling, manuring, mulching, irrigation and the application of fertilisers, were some of the topics that were discussed during the workshop. Here are, from the left: Dr Forbes Walker, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, USA; Dr Neal Eash, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, USA; Prof. Swart; Mr Richard Fowler, Conservation Agriculture Capacitator, Pietermaritzburg; and Dr Clapperton.
Photo: Lacea Loader

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