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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

Kovsie student on his way to the record books
2011-10-12

 

Hermann van Heerden
Photo: Gerhard Louw

Ten hours. That’s how long Kovsie student Hermann van Heerden held a stationary wheelie in his wheelchair by lifting the front wheels of his wheelchair. The second-year disabled student now stands to get his name in the Guinness World Record Book for the longest stationary wheelie in a wheelchair.

Starting at 03:15 and holding on until 13:15 on Tuesday, 11 October 2011, Hermann achieved what he set out to do. Now he is waiting for the Guinness World Record office to verify his world-record attempt.

The minimum time set for Hermann to achieve a Guinness World Record was four hours, but the B.Ed. student went six hours over this time, wheeling non-stop for ten hours. During this time the Kovsie student had no food or water over his lips, nor was he allowed to go to the bathroom.

Hermann’s Guinness World Record attempt forms part of the ten-year celebrations of the Unit for Students with Disabilities (USD) at the University of the Free State (UFS).

Accomplishing his record attempt, a tired Hermann said the first thing he wanted to do was to eat. Hermann, who was born with spina bifida, a developmental congenital disorder, said he did not have a lot of preparation for his world-record attempt, as he had always been in a wheelchair.

According to the Guinness World Records press office, the closest record to the one Hermann set out to achieve, is for the longest continuous wheelie in a wheelchair. This was achieved by Michael Miller from the USA who covered a distance of 16, 12 km on the rear wheels of his wheelchair.

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