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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

Golden Key Chapter of the UFS walks away with gold status
2011-10-13

 

This generation has to find a mission, something they can be as passionate about as their predecessors of the 1970s were. A greater nation has just risen. At the 2011 South African Golden Key Summit, were from left: Mr Ruddy Banyini, outgoing President: UFS Chapter; Mr Puso Thahane, President: Wits Chapter, and Mr Katleho Mohono, Vice-President (Internal): Wits Chapter.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

Our university earned gold status as one of the top chapters in the country. This was one of four awards won by the UFS at the 2011 South African Golden Key Summit held at the Bloemfontein Campus from 6-8 October 2011.

Mr Ruddy Banyini, outgoing  Golden Key president (UFS) and the president of the Wits Chapter jointly received the Regional Student Leader of the Year award. The UFS Chapter also took third place for Best Community Service as well as for Best Campus Awareness Initiative. This follows hot on the heels of the chapter winning the Golden Key International Chapter Service Award for the second consecutive year in May 2011.
 
The summit also yielded some new challenges for all chapters. Mr Banyini and his counterparts from the University of Witwatersrand are on a mission to cultivate a nation of thinkers. This follows the successful hosting of a Thinkers Symposium by the Wits Chapter to determine the contribution thinkers could make towards shaping a better society. “This initiative will see all students on campus mobilised and actively participating,” Mr Banyini said. “Thoughts without action are just thoughts. We are all aware of social ills in our country, yet only a few come forth with a solution,” stated Mr Katleho Mohono (Wits).
 
The involvement of Golden Key members in helping to create solutions for national problems has triggered a series of think-tank symposiums organised by various chapters. The result has been an exponential growth in the numbers of those collectively involved in the on-line National Planning Commission’s consultative forum. “The impact of mobilising the best current academic achievers in Higher Education opens up exciting new possibilities through constructive student engagement with society’s issues,” Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar at the UFS,” said.

 

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