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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

‘Gaza doctor’ Izzeldin Abuelaish visits UFS
2011-10-03

 

Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish

Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, the Palestinian doctor who became the centre of a media firestorm in January 2009 when three of his daughters were killed and members of his family injured in an attack on Gaza, will be visiting our Bloemfontein Campus in October 2011. Dr Abuelaish, author of the bestselling I shall not hate: a Gaza doctor’s journey on the road to peace and human dignity, will be presenting two public lectures on 17 and 18 October 2011. He will be visiting the university at the invitation of Prof. Jonathan Jansen and will be hosted by the International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice.

Dr Abuelaish, currently Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010. He founded the Foundation “Daughters for Life” (www.daughtersforlife.com). During his visit, he will lead group discussions by using his personal biography to explain his commitment to the transformational value of a commitment to peace and human dignity. Dr Abuelaish will also be meeting with members of the medical fraternity and the Faculties of Education and the Humanities to discuss his foundation and its role in promoting women’s education.  
 
For more information on Dr Abuelaish’s visit, please contact Prof. Jaqueline du Toit at DuToitJS@ufs.ac.za or Prof. André Keet on 051 401 9808.

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