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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

Shuttle services for senior medical students
2011-09-26

 

Senior medical students who make use of the shuttle services are standing next to the mini-bus.

On Friday, 30 September 2011, our university will officially launch its shuttle service for medical students. This function will take place from 12:00 to 13:00 at the Faculty of Health Sciences’ CJC Nel Reception Venue in the Francois Retief Building on our Bloemfontein Campus.

Two years ago. Dr Scarpa Schoeman began working at Internal Medicine at our Faculty of Health Sciences. Early on, he identified the transport problems of fourth- and fifth-year medical students (Phase-3 students) in the English class.
 
There are 65 Phase-3 students in the English class who are currently struggling with transport and who are part of this project. About 90% of them are bursary students at the university who, according to Schoeman, are consequently also struggling with finances. These students used public transport like taxis to move between hospital rounds and classes in the past. On average, it would cost them up to R4 000 per year for these daily travels between the UFS and the various training hospitals.
 
By the end of March 2011, NetCare had donated two mini-busses to the UFS and since 11 April, the shuttle services were available to medical students. Prof. Gert van Zyl (Dean of our Faculty of Health Sciences), Mr Mickey Gordon (Head: Marketing, Institutional Advancement and Sport) and the Rector, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, negotiated with NetCare. Gordon was also responsible for the branding of the busses. PPS and Pfizer are both sponsors who contributed to this.
 
This project is managed by Dr Schoeman, assisted by Mrs Anne-Marie Nel, who handles the administration as the Phase-3 secretary.
 
“It is important for us from the project management that students won’t see this as another taxi, but as a shuttle service of the university. Any senior medical student may make use of it, but it is mainly the under-privileged student from the English class who makes use of it.”
 
The two Quantum mini-busses do the circuit according to fixed schedules each day.  The route starts at the Francois Retief Building on our Bloemfontein Campus and then travels to the National Hospital, the Free State Psychiatric Complex (Oranje), Pelonomi, 3 Military Hospital (at Tempe) and then back again to Universitas Hospital.

 

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