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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

Gauteng business community experiences UFS
2010-09-23

Prof. Matie Hoffman from the Department of Physics of the UFS, presenting at the Boyden Observatory to a group of business executives from Gauteng, during their recent visit to the university.
Photo: Gerhard Louw

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) Corporate Liaison Office recently hosted a group of eleven business men and women from the private sector in Gauteng on its Main Campus in Bloemfontein. The purpose of the campus visits, which are held two to three times a year, is to give representatives from the corporate sector the opportunity to get to know the UFS first-hand and to help build the brand of the university as a national asset.

During their visit the group of business men and women, amongst others, met with faculty members, they enjoyed a networking session with UFS staff at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, visited the Unit for Students with Disabilities as well as the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health.

The day ended at the Boyden Observatory where a feedback session was facilitated by Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor, and Prof. Ezekiel Moraka, Vice-Rector: External Relations. After this opportunity where the visitors discussed their experience of the UFS, the day came to an end with a presentation on: The African skies: Stories and science by a Ph.D. candidate from the Department of Physics, Mr Bosco Oruru. One of the highlights of the evening included a sighting of the Hubble Telescope in the sky over Bloemfontein and observing the moon and Venus through one of the Boyden telescopes.

The visitors left with new insights and a great appreciation for the contribution of the UFS to education, research and community service in South Africa.

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