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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

Cultivating excellence and success through academics
2011-10-07

 

Unlocking potential. At the Golden Key South African Summit 2011 were, from the left: Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar (UFS); Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic; Mr Ryk Neethling and Ms Charlene Gunter, Director: Golden Key International Honour Society, South Africa.
Photo: Phelekwa Mpono

More than 130 delegates are gathering for the Golden Key, South African Summit at the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). Golden Key International Honour Society recognises academic excellence and uses knowledge to transform lives. It has 400 chapters in eight countries. Of South Africa’s 12 chapters, 11 were present at the summit.

Prof. Driekie Hay, Vice-Rector: Academic at the UFS, welcomed delegates from the respective chapters. She commended them for their perseverance and dedication to excel. “Your academic aspirations and commitment contribute to cultivating a culture of excellence. It will provide a better future for every South African citizen,” she said. Prof. Hay challenged delegates also to “act” by turning their knowledge into actions to advance not only themselves but also society. She also urged them to “discover” everything about themselves, their chosen disciplines, allies and oppositions. “Mostly, you must internalise the spirit of lifelong learning,” she said.

Mr Ryk Neethling, Olympic gold medallist and businessman, was the first keynote speaker. He took everyone through the steps that ultimately led to the moment of victory for him and his team. “We found a way to compete with heart and determination in the 2004 Olympic Games. We were prepared and we took everyone by surprise. “To achieve what one has set one’s mind to, we must dream big,” he said. “Play your part in the team and be confident. Remember that you are victors and not victims,” he urged. He further emphasised the importance of making one’s own luck and, most of all, never to give up.

Another speaker for the summit includes Ms Peggy-Sue Khumalo, former Miss South Africa. Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar (UFS) will present a workshop on Strategic Action Planning.

This event is the first external lecture that is presented in the Metro’s found in the new Health Sciences Building on the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS.
 

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