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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

New Zealand High Commissioner visits the UFS

The New Zealand High Commissioner to South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique, Mr. Geoff Randal, recently visited the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Centre for Africa Studies (CAS) and presented a seminar on “New Zealand and Africa: Asymmetry writ large”.

His talk considered relations between New Zealand and Africa, exploring what looks like a massive asymmetry. He concluded that difference wais normal and not in itself a barrier to effective collaboration. In his view, diplomacy is an important tool to obtain balance by continuous adjustment and through dialogue across perceived asymmetry. Through diplomacy as the connector, facilitator and coordinator, perceptions are shaped and can small states can make a stand against the powerful. Attending the seminar were, from the left: Mr. Arthur Johnson, Manager: International Partnerships and Liaison at the UFS); Prof. Heidi Hudson, Programme Director: CAS; Mr Geoff Randal, New Zealand High Commissioner to South Africa – speaker; Ms. Kamo Dipico, Administrative Officer: CAS; Ms Steffi Cawood, Lecturer: CAS, and Ms. Siti Dipico, Research Assistant: CAS.
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe

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