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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 meets church leaders
2011-09-14

Our university is fully committed to working with community structures whose vision and mission is to enhance and enrich the lives of those who are less fortunate.

These were the words of the Vice-Rector: External Relations, Dr Choice Makhetha, during a recent visit to the Bopanang Stimulation Centre where she met with the Qwaqwa Ministers Forum under the leadership of Elder Tumaka Tlooko and Rev. Paulos Mohatlane.

“We would not be doing justice to ourselves as the university if we are not responsive to the voices of the needy in our communities,” said Dr Makhetha to a hall packed with ministers of different churches from all corners of Qwaqwa.

This one-year-old structure has already seen numerous successes, one of which is the new working relationship with our university’s Qwaqwa Campus, which has committed itself to providing these ministers with short courses to empower them in full.

Bopanang Stimulation Centre was in a festive mood as the children sang songs of worship, thus forgetting their daily challenges caused by their various disabilities.

Dr Makhetha was accompanied by our Qwaqwa Campus Principal, Dr Elias Malete, and the Head of Administration, Teboho Manchu.

 

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