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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 continues its consultation process
2009-10-27

The management of the University of the Free State (UFS) is continuing its consultation process with different stakeholders on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein today (Wednesday, 28 October 2009).

This consultation process is a result of a decision by Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, to continue discussions around the Reitz matter, which was announced earlier this week.

The first meeting took place with Adv. Mothusi Lepheana of the Human Rights Commission on behalf of the five workers. Adv. Lepheana represents the five workers, as ruled by the court on Monday, 26 October 2009.

During this discussion it was agreed that further processes on the way forward will be announced shortly after the Human Rights Commission has completed its work regarding certain legal issues within the case.

Meetings with other stakeholders, including staff and students, will be taking place continuously.

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  
28 October 2009

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