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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

UFS outlines research achievements
2011-09-02

 

At the launch of the 2010 Annual Research Report, were from the left: Mr Robert Kriger, the director for Policy and Strategy at the National Research Foundation (NRF); Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic and Prof. Frans Swanepoel, Senior Director: Research Development.
Photo: Stephen Collett

The University of the Free State (UFS) is well on course for delivery on its most important academic duty as a research university. This was the message that came forward at the launch of the 2010 Annual Research Report of the UFS on 30 August 2011.

Speakers at the launch, which included Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector, as well as Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academics outlined the key strategies and achievements of the UFS for the 2010 academic year. This included the establishment of a Postgraduate School at the UFS, the first of its kind at a public university in South Africa. Prof. Hay told guests that the aim of the Postgraduate School was to broaden research and deepens scholarship on postgraduate education in the country. She highlighted some initiatives the UFS undertook in 2010 to build and maintain its intellectual capital. Some of these initiatives included the appointment of seven senior professors and recruiting more female and black scholars and academics.   
Also speaking at the event was Mr Robert Kriger, the director for Policy and Strategy at the National Research Foundation (NRF). Kriger reflected on the brilliant minds of scholars such as Archie Mafeje, Lewis Nkosi and Dennis Brutus and argued for efforts to increase the country’s research output.
Some highlights of the 2010 Annual Research Report:
  • The total funding available for research at the UFS increased from approximately R199 million in 2009 to just over R210 million in 2010. A total of R31.8 million was made available from central university funds.
  • In 2010 the UFS was home to 92 NRF-rated researchers. During 2010, four researchers applied for re-evaluation and of these, two improved their rating, while a further five received a first-time rating.
  • The Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences continue to be the most prolific producer of publications in accredited journals, while the Faculty of Education has shown a 54% increase in its publication output.
  • Staff members in the Physics department at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus published 22 papers in international peer-reviewed journals during 2010.
  • Also at the Qwaqwa Campus: Ms Khethiwe Mtshali,a postgraduate student in the parasitology research unit of the Department of Zoology and Entomology, received a best Honours presenter award at the 1st Annual Research symposium of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa.

 

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