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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

SRC elections continue despite illegal protests on UFS Main Campus
2011-08-17

After today’s (17 August 2011) illegal protest by about 150 demonstrators from outside the university in front of the Main Building on our Bloemfontein Campus, Mr Rudi Buys, Dean: Student Affairs, said the elections for a Representative Student Council still continues. “Student Council candidates will continue with their campaign and, as agreed, no external politics will be allowed in the elections.”

Student leaders have expressed their frustration with the outside groups who interfere with processes on campus.

The UFS was the target of a group of people from outside the university who protested in front of the Main Building. The group, armed with sticks and bricks, had no clear demands other than that the UFS Council should be dissolved and management fired. It appears that some of the outsiders – from places such as Welkom and Kroonstad – did not know what they came to do at the university.

No students were involved in the protest action.

During the demonstration, the police and campus security were deployed and some of the demonstrators were arrested.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector said: “The UFS is worried about the thuggish behaviour by outside groups invading the university campus. An urgent interdict has been obtained and any further invasions by outside groups will lead to arrest.”

The illegal process had no impact on the academic programme at the university. Everything continues as normal.

 
Media Release
17 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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