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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

Historic Global exchange summit for first-year students in 2012
2011-10-21

 
More than one hundred Kovsie first-year students travelled to universities in the USA and Europe in September 2011 to learn about issues such as diversity, leadership and citizenship. More students will travel to Asia in January 2012. Daniel King, Melissa Lucas, Jomari de Beer and Rito Madingana visited Ghent University in Belgium.
Photo: Anja Aucamp

Our University will present a global exchange partner summit next year with the 16 partner universities who took part in this year’s Leadership for Change Programme. This will be the first summit of its kind presented in South Africa bringing together first-year students from four continents and 17 countries. The summit will take place from 8 - 22 July 2012 on the Bloemfontein Campus.

The aim of the summit is for first-year students from all partner universities in the USA, Europe and Asia to visit our university and experience student life at a South African university. The students will be staying on campus and an intensive programme covering issues such as social justice, diversity, leadership and citizenship will be presented.

Mr Rudi Buys, Dean of Student Affairs at our university, says the summit will serve as an opportunity to detail further partnership agreements with a number of universities such as Binghamton State University, amongst others.

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