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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

UFS partners with the Steve Biko Foundation
2010-09-14

The Steve Biko Foundation, with the support of the University of the Free State (UFS) and other stakeholders, recently presented the Annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture as part of the 33rd Anniversary Commemoration of Steve Biko at the University of Cape Town. The lecture, Coming to See You Since I was Five Years Old: An American poet's connection to the South African soul, was delivered by Pulitzer Prize winner Prof. Alice Walker. She drew on her poetry, personal history and the inspirational role of the South African liberation struggle to disenfranchised people around the world.

This prestigious lecture has to date been delivered by, amongst others, such luminaries as former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Prof. Chinua Achebe. The lecture was preceded by an evening of poetry and prose, An evening with Alice Walker, at the State Theatre in Pretoria where the UFS was also represented. Pictured at the lecture are the UFS representatives, from the left: Mr Teboho Manchu (Director: Student Affairs, Qwaqwa Campus), Mr Willem Ellis (Centre for Development Support), Ms Lihlomelo Toyana (student), Mr JC van der Merwe (Department of Philosophy) and Mr Billyboy Ramahlele (Director: Community Engagement).
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe

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