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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

Moot Court competition bigger success than ever before
2009-10-27

 

Here are the members of the winning team in the Afrikaanse section: André Stander and Wilmie Stander.
Photo: Stephen Collett
 

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) Department of Law of Procedure and Law of Evidence again presented the First-year Moot Court Competition this year. This interuniversity competition was presented for the fifth time this year. The Universities of the Free State, Pretoria, Johannesburg, Rhodes, North-West, Zululand and KwaZulu-Natal (both campuses), as well as an international institution, the Charlotte Law School in North Carolina in the USA also participated in the competition.

The last-mentioned participant was indeed a highlight for the Department of Law of Procedure and Law of Evidence. The students of the Charlotte School also initiated a community service project for a school in a disadvantaged community. According to Adv. Mariëtte Reyneke from the Department of Law of Procedure and Law of Evidence, the students of the UFS’s Faculty of Law will also participate in this project. The team’s participation is a result of negotiations to work together between Prof. Neels Swanepoel, departmental head, and the Charlotte School of Law early in 2009 as part of the university’s internationalisation priority.

“We are really excited about the growth of the competition that started out with three universities to where it is today. We believe that it is a cause for celebration,” said Adv. Reyneke.

Only first-year students may participate. The competition will take place in the High Court and the final rounds in the Court of Appeal. The judges are compiled from retired judges, practising judiciary, magistrates as well as retired lectures of law. Only a small number of law practitioners get the opportunity to appear in the Court of Appeal and to do this in your first year in front of a judge is an excellent exposure and career forming. This is also the only competition in the country where students can participate in either an English competition or an Afrikaans competition.

Sixteen English teams (9 universities) and 7 Afrikaans teams participated in this year’s competition.

At the prize giving function the UFS team was crowned overall winners of the Afrikaans section and a team from the University of Pretoria as overall winners of the English section of the competition.

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