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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

Rare tumour removed in groundbreaking surgery
2011-08-06

 

Mr Carel Botes and Prof. Francis Smit with a model of the human heart
Photo: Earl Coetzee

A team of surgeons, headed by Prof Francis Smit, Head of our Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at our Faculty of Health Sciences, performed open heart surgery on a male patient with a malignant tumour.

What makes this operation unique, is that the suspicious mass that was identified in the heart was a rapidly growing and a highly invasive cardiac tumour, which has only been seen in a small number of patients worldwide.

Without the necessary surgery or heart transplant, the prognosis of the patient would have been zero.

The patient, Mr Carl Botes, a 51-year-old farmer from Hoopstad, opted for the tumour to be removed rather than having a heart transplant.  Although both options would involve major risks and challenges, the transplant was the least feasible due to logistics, the waiting list for recipients and the lack of donors.

In the, highly complex, 10-hour operation, performed in the Universitas Academic Hospital in Bloemfontein, the entire right heart chamber had to be removed and the heart reconstructed.

After prolonged hospitalisation of five weeks, Mr Botes was discharged.

Currently he is fully functional and continuing with his active lifestyle.  After three months, all investigations and scans indicate that he is doing very well and has no complaints of fatigue, shortness of breath and palpitations – symptoms which occurred before the removal of the tumour.

For further information contact:
Prof Francis Smit
051-4053861
smitfe@ufs.ac.za
 

Media Release
6 August 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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