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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

Spring Graduation
2011-09-12

 

Our university will be awarding altogether 91 diplomas/certificates and 624 degrees during the Spring Graduation Ceremony on 14 and 15 September 2011. Of these, 23 doctorates and two honorary doctorates will also be awarded.

As with this year’s Autumn Graduation Ceremony, we will be making the ceremony more accessible to students and the public. Two appearances, in particular, can be looked forward to on this occasion: a national concert pianist in Grade 12 from Voortrekker High School in Bethlehem, Caryn Reed, and a continental debating champion and second-year student in our Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Sibusiso Tshabalala, as guest speaker.
 
All the master’s and doctoral degrees of the various faculties will once again be awarded during one ceremony on 15 September 2011.
 
Prof. Robert Frater, Emeritus Professor in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, and Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Centre, New York, will be receiving an honorary doctorate in Medical Science. As a teacher and trainer, Prof. Frater has influenced many surgeons in his training role in the wards, operating room and intensive care facility. Dr Akilagpa Sawyerr, an academic from Ghana, will be receiving an honorary doctorate in Education for groundbreaking work done on the African continent. Dr Sawyerr, who is a member of our International Advisory Council, has visiting appointments at prestigious universities, such as the famous Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also has visiting status at the Harvard Law School and the Yale Law School.
 
The full programme for the various ceremonies is:
  • Wednesday, 14 September 2011:
At 10:15, the degrees will be awarded to students of the Faculties of Humanities, Education, Law and Theology. Diplomas/certificates up until honours degrees will be awarded. This excludes the Certificate in Education, National Professional Diploma in Education and the Advanced Education Certificate.
 
At 15:15, degrees will be awarded to students in the Faculties of Economic and Management Sciences and Natural- and Agricultural Sciences and Health Sciences. Diplomas/Certificates up until honours degrees will be awarded.
  •  Thursday, 15 September 2011:
At 10:15, a total of 125 master’s and doctoral degrees plus two honorary doctorates will be awarded by all the faculties in a joint ceremony.
 
The Chancellor’s Dinner will also take place on the same day.

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