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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

Rasool lauds our university
2011-10-24

 
At the dinner at the residence of the South African Ambassador to the USA, Mr Ebrahim Rasool, were, from the left: Prof. Debra Stewart, President of the Council of Graduate Schools in the USA; South African Ambassador, Mr Rasool; Prof. Jansen; and Prof. Molly Corbett Broad, President of the American Council on Education (ACE).

The Ambassador for South Africa to the United States of America (USA), Mr Ebrahim Rasool, recently hosted Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of our university and a group of representatives from major science councils, foundations and universities at his home in Washington DC. Our university is the first South African university to be hosted at the official home of the Ambassador.

“The University of the Free State has shown South Africa and the world how to work with the past and how to make the past work for them. “You are a thought leader who had the privilege not to be comfortable with your own ideas of history; you understood the need to change and embraced it. You have moved the fastest towards racial and human togetherness of all the South African universities,” Mr Rasool said.
 
Prof. Jansen responded by saying that Africa needed strong academic universities and that had to be the focus of tertiary institutions across the continent. “We must create opportunities for people to be together and to learn from each other. The UFS is an experiment of human togetherness – and this experiment is taking off,” he said. 
 
During his visit to the USA, Prof. Jansen also discussed research partnerships and new placements for UFS staff and students through exchange visits.

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