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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

British Academic visits UFS
2011-04-14

Dr Wayne Dooling
Photo: Gerda-Marie Viviers

Dr Wayne Dooling , a senior lecturer at the University of London in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), gave a lecture at the University of the Free State (UFS) on Tuesday. This lecture was presented in conjunction with the UFS’s Department of History. The lecture was on violence and Colonial Law in Southern Africa. “Dutch law was characterised by force and violence,” said Dr Dooling in his introduction of the topic. 

In his lecture Dr Dooling spoke about how Colonial Law worked and how the African legal systems were suppressed by European Law. “One of the biggest achievements European Governments sought was to get African societies and Africans to come around to European ways of wrongdoing,” said Dr Dooling .  He said that African courts did not just disappear; they continued to exist. The reason for Africans to use and rely on European courts was that they were dissatisfied with their own courts.  African laws were not fixed; they benefited only a few and were often violated.

Dr Dooling is currently an Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the SOAS. He has authored two books, namely: Slavery, emancipation and Colonial rule in South Africa and Law and community in a slave society.

14 April 2011

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