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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

Sculpture project brings new dimension to Main Campus
2010-11-16

Noriah Mabasa, Unity is power: Let us be united (2010), fig wood, 3200 x 1700 x 1400 mm.

The first sculptures in a project to establishment a diverse collection of sculptures on our Main Campus were erected in October 2010. Artists were commissioned to create a number of sculptures.

The funds for the project were made available through a grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF).

This project aims to create an altered environment that provides visible, tangible symbols of change and reconciliation. It also aims to enrich the educational and multicultural experience of staff and students with these areas.

Renowned Venda artist Noriah Mabasa has created a three-metre-high wooden sculpture, “Unity is power: Let us be united”, that was placed outside the new computer laboratory near our UFS Sasol Library. The work consists of several grouped figures celebrating the coming together of many diverse people.

Another artist from Venda, Azwifarwi Ragimana, has been working in collaboration with Gallery 181 in Johannesburg and produced a group of sculptural benches that was placed in the garden behind the Main Building.

Local artists are also involved in this initiative: Jaco Spies, lecturer in our Department of Fine Arts, as well as ceramist Dina Grobler and artists from the Tshiamo Art and Crafts Project are working on a mosaic at a site known as the “philosophers” circle.’

The project will continue in 2011. We can also expect works from leading South Africa artists such as Willem Boshoff and Pat Mautloa.

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