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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

Examination format at UFS to change
2011-04-22

A new examination format is to be followed from the coming examination in May 2011 at the University of the Free State (UFS). According to this, the additional examination opportunity is to follow on the heels of the main examination.

According to the new format, students who qualify to write examinations will be compelled to write their papers during the first opportunity, and will only be allowed to write an additional examination once their applications for this examination have been approved. Students who qualify for re-assessment and special examinations will automatically be admitted to the additional examination and will therefore be exempt from the application process.
 
According to Dr Saretha Brüssow, Head: Teaching and Learning at the UFS, the Examination Committee requested the investigation of the double examination which applied previously, due to the pressure it caused on the university systems.
 
She said that, besides this release of pressure on systems such as the registration process, the back-to-back semester-based examination system might also lead to a possible improvement of the academic success rate, due to the shorter time span between the first and the second examination opportunities.
 
Students attended classes poorly in the past due to the second examination opportunity, which took place during the following semester after classes had resumed. “In some cases it is specifically the student at risk, who cannot afford to miss classes, who makes use of the second examination opportunity.”
 
Dr. Brüssow said the registration process was also affected by the previous format due to students who wanted to receive their results first before they registered. Other delays which occurred as a result of the second examination opportunity, were the first annual graduation ceremony which took place late in the year, the awarding of bursaries, and the finalisation of residence accommodation. Adding on to this problematic nature is students who occupy residences in the following academic year without a formal application in order to write during the second examination opportunity in January.
 
The new format is applicable to all students, except those in the Faculty of Health. Main and South Campus students can direct enquiries to addexam@ufs.ac.za. Qwaqwa Campus students should email addexam@qwa.ufs.ac.za.  Information on the new examination format is also available on www.ufs.ac.za.
 
 
Media Release
21 April 2011
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za
 

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