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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

ANC Centenary Seminar on "The African National Congress and the International Community, 1960 to 1990"

Prof. Stephen Ellis, a historian by profession who holds the Desmond Tutu chair in the Faculty of Social Science at the Free University Amsterdam and also senior researcher at the African Studies Centre in Leiden, the Netherlands, is soon to deliver a paper titled The African National Congress and the International Community, 1960 to 1990 at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, during the next session of the ANC Centenary Seminar hosted by the Centre for Africa Studies.

  • Date: 24 October 2011
  • Time: 18:00
  • Venue: CR Swart Senate Hall
For more information please contact Ms Kamo Dipico at telephone 051 401 3121, fax 051 401 9676 or email

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