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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

Prominent UFS women meet up with media in Wonderland
2011-08-04

 

At the breakfast were, from the left: Prof. Magda Mulder, Head of our School of Nursing; Prof. Daniella Coetzee, Dean: Teaching and Learning, situated on our South Campus; Prof. Corli Witthuhn, Vice-Dean of our Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, and Lynette Francis, the guest speaker.
Photo: Anja Aucamp

During a Women’s Breakfast arranged by our Division: Strategic Communication at the UFS, prominent women from the university enjoyed breakfast with some women representatives from the local media. Lynette Francis, who presents the SABC 2 programme Fokus as well as Praat Saam on Radio Sonder Grense, was the guest speaker at this event, with the theme: Alice in Wonderland.

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