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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

UFS Council supports Prof. Jansen
2009-10-26

Statement by Judge Faan Hancke, Chairperson of the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS)

The Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) takes note of the current developments regarding the university, and specifically the controversy around the decision of the Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Jonathan Jansen and his management to grant re-admittance to the four students who were expelled in connection with the Reitz incident.

At its meeting of 11 September 2009, the Council had already unanimously expressed its support for Prof. Jansen with regard to the handling of various managerial issues, including that the way for mediation with regard to the legal process about Reitz had to be followed.

The Council remains unequivocally committed to the important process of transformation, and sees Prof. Jansen’s actions in the light of his intention to accomplish reconciliation and manage the larger process of transformation. The Council supports all active attempts to encourage reconciliation and accepts Prof. Jansen’s integrity and bona fides with regard to the handling of this issue.

The Council contents itself with the view that racism, and abusive actions of any nature whatsoever remain inexcusable.

The Council expresses its hope that all stake-holders will find a quick solution to the current dispute in order to ensure that activities on the Main Campus return to normal.

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  
26 October 2009

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