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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

Our Abe Bailey scholars are packing for the UK
2011-08-16

 

Nida Jooste and Ryan Lamb
Photo: Earl Coetzee

Academic excellence and strong leadership has become synonymous with our university, as our two Rhodes scholars for 2011, and the recent announcement of our two Abe Bailey scholars from the UFS have shown.

Nida Jooste and Ryan Lamb are two of the proud recipients of Abe Bailey Travel Bursaries and will be heading off to the United Kingdom on 26 August 2011, to visit several universities in England and Scotland. These two were chosen from hundreds of UFS applicants and will join Abe Bailey bursary holders from the rest of the country.

Both students are academic achievers, but also excel in other fields. This is what set them apart from the rest of the applicants for the bursaries.

Ryan (23), a Medical Physics honours student at our Faculty of Health Sciences, received the Senate Medal for the best bachelor’s degree student at the UFS. He was one of a hundred students at the Brightest Young Minds Summit this year and was one of the 2008 delegates to the World Youth Forum, hosted by the International Association for Poetry and Solidarity in Italy.

This young man is the founder of a group called Poets Anonymous, which provides a platform where poets, artists and dancers in Bloemfontein can express themselves.

Nida (21) is a very familiar face on our Bloemfontein Campus, as she served as the Deputy Chairperson of the Interim Student Council for the past year.

This fourth-year LL.B. student says she has known about the Abe Bailey bursary since her first year, but had to wait to apply, since the scholarship is only open to final-year students and junior lecturers. She applied last year, but did not even make it to the short list for candidates.

“I realise now that I was not involved enough then. Luckily I became much more involved in campus activities during the past year and also improved my academic performance greatly,” she says.

Nida and Ryan both hope to use the opportunity to learn new approaches to solving problems. Ryan says he is looking forward to the opportunity to network with other bursary holders and to share experiences with them, before returning to the UFS to implement what he had learned.

Nida says she also hopes to see how universities in First-World Countries operate, in order to apply that knowledge when she returns to the UFS.

 

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