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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 more accessible for persons with disabilities
2010-04-22

After millions of rands have already been spent on making its buildings more accessible to people with disabilities, the University of the Free State (UFS) is embarking on a new drive to make the Main Campus more user-friendly for its students and staff with disabilities.

Recently the UFS completed a report with recommendations to upgrade more of its buildings in this regard.

The university is already a leader with regard to its services to students with disabilities and is drawing students from all over the country. The Unit for Students with Disabilities (USD) at the UFS offers support to approximately 120 students.

According to Prof. Niel Viljoen, Vice-Rector: Operations, it remains an ongoing process that should constantly be reviewed. Following a prioritised strategic plan, the UFS is upgrading the bathrooms and elevators in its buildings as well as the ramps and parking spaces.

In the new drive a number of future projects have been identified to make the buildings as well as the Main Campus more accessible and user-friendly for persons with disabilities:

Ramps will be added at the entrances to four more buildings. The entrances to the Geology and Geography Buildings will also be made more accessible. An access ramp from the parking area to the pavement will also be added at the CR de Wet Building (housing the Departments of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy).

To make classrooms on higher levels accessible, the UFS is looking into the possibility of installing elevators in four more buildings. The university is also investigating the possibility of stair lifts in two of its buildings. Existing elevators on campus will also be upgraded.

More allocated parking spaces for persons in wheelchairs will also be provided closer to buildings.

Accessible bathrooms for persons with disabilities will be added in five more buildings on campus.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt@ufs.ac.za  
22 April 2010

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