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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

Prof. Heideman appointed new Dean at the UFS
2010-09-27

Prof. Neil Heideman

Prof. Neil Heideman has been appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the University of the Free State (UFS). His appointment was approved by the UFS Council during its recent meeting.

Prof. Heideman has been acting in this position since February this year, prior to which he was the Vice-Dean of the Faculty. He joined the UFS in 2003 as the Programme Head of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at the Qwaqwa Campus.

“I see my role as Dean as that of a facilitator of processes that will further strengthen the faculty’s academic capacity, optimise the research environment and create a stimulating teaching and learning environment in which students can develop into skilled critical thinkers and socially responsible, global citizens,” he said.

He chairs the faculty advisory committees such as the Research Committee, Academic Programmes Committee, Community Service Subcommittee, Employment Equity Committee and Buildings Committee. He represents the faculty on the National Science and Technology Forum and the National Science Deans’ Forum, and is also a panel member of the Rhodes Scholarship Adjudication Committee.

He has about 23 years’ university teaching experience, and as a Fulbright Fellow offered a series of seminars on South African conservation issues to senior undergraduate and graduate students at Brigham Young University in the United States in 2007.

He has won several academic awards and is an NRF-rated scientist.

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

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