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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

Prof. Van Coller elected as member of ASSAF
2010-11-08

Prof. Hennie van Coller

After he had been nominated by Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Hennie van Coller, Head of the Department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French, was elected as a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF).

ASSAF consists of approximately 340 members and Prof. Van Coller is proud to be the only Afrikaans literator amongst the members. Apart from Prof. Dingie Janse van Rensburg, who retired earlier this year, Prof. Van Coller is also the only staff member of the UFS’s Faculty of the Humanities who is a member of ASSAF.

Prof. Van Coller is a former Chairperson of the South African Academy for Science and Art and states that his membership of ASSAF proves that a good relationship and collaboration exist amongst the academies for the benefit of science.

The academy’s core function requires that the country’s most outstanding academics be honoured as members. With that in mind, Prof. Van Coller’s research and contribution to Afrikaans literature were not in vain. “Recognition cannot be bought, and therefore recognition by one’s peers in particular is very precious,” said Prof. Van Coller.
– Lize du Plessis

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