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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

Seven from UFS now ASSAf members
2011-10-06

Seven academic staff members from the University of the Free State (UFS) have been elected as members of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). Parliament passed the Academy of Science of South Africa Act in 2001, resulting in the establishment of ASSAf in 2002 as the official Academy of Science of South Africa recognised by government, and representing the country in the international community of science academies.

The key objective of the academy is to promote and apply scientific thinking in the service of society, ultimately determining the quality and scope of the role the academy can play in the country's life and progress.

The new members will be inaugurated by Minister Naledi Pandor on Thursday, 13 October 2011.

The members are Profs. Hendrik Swart, Physics; Andre Roodt, Chemistry; Zakkie Pretorius, Plant Sciences; Max Finkelstein, Mathematics; James du Preez, Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology; Maryke Labuschagne, Plant breeding; and Neil Roos, from the UFS’s Post-graduate School.

Current UFS staff members who are ASSAf members include Profs. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector; Johan Henning, Dean: Faculty of Law; and Frans Swanepoel, Senior Director: Research Development.

Prof. Aldo Stroebel was recently inaugurated as one of 20 founding members of the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS), the youth chapter of ASSAf, which seeks to provide a voice to young scientists on international issues that interface with science.
 

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