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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

Golden Key International Chapter again receives prestigious award for service
2011-05-04

 
The management team of our university's Golden Key (GK) International Honours Society
Photo: Gerhard Louw

Our universities chapter of the Golden Key International Honours Society is the proud recipient of the Golden Key International Chapter Service Award for the second consecutive year.

The chapter received this $1000 award in recognition of the services they deliver to the community of the Free State and the hard work each of their members put in to ensure that their community projects run smoothly.

Mr Ruddy Banyini, the chapter president, says they feel very privileged to know that the chapter’s work  receives international recognition.  “We feel so privileged that the work of our chapter is appreciated internationally and that it will serve as motivation to everyone to start giving back to their communities,” he said.

The UFS chapter adopted The House of Compassion, an orphanage on the outskirts of Bloemfontein, at the start of 2010. They have collaborated with associations such as the PSA and visit the house on weekends to play with the children. They have also donated food, clothing and shoes. “Our chapter’s motto is ‘It’s not how happy we are that matters, but how happy others are because of us’” Mr Banyini said.

The chapter was selected as one of the 10 most deserving chapters from a possible 390 university and college chapters worldwide, based on their community-service activities. The chapter was also selected to host the South African Regional Golden Key Summit from 06 - 08 October 2011, which means that our university will host the top 15% of achievers from all South African universities.

Mr Banyini said this is a dream come true, since their chapter’s main goal is to see our university as  South Africa’s Golden Key reference point.

The GK UFS Chapter will soon be starting a “Together means Warm” campaign which will attempt  to provide winter clothes, shoes and new school shoes to the children of the orphanage and also improve their living condition.

“I would like to urge everybody to keep in mind that the community is everyone’s responsibility,” Mr Banyini said.
 

Media Release
4 May 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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