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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

University of the Free State Choir mesmerises its audience
2011-10-31

 
Photo: Johan Roux

The University of the Free State Choir enchanted its audience during a special performance on the Bloemfontein Campus recently. The choir, under the direction of Corné van Pletzen, performed works by, among others, Giacomo Puccini, Allen Pote and Ola Gjeilo. Songs in Sesotho, Setswana and Xhosa, arranged and conducted by Bonisile Gcisa, ensured that the evening had a well-rounded ending.

"The choir is a proud asset and valued component of what this treasured place of higher learning holds dear – the highest standards for human and academic endeavour. It projects in its membership and its repertoire those powerful messages of inclusion and embrace, of hope and healing, in our troubled land and it represents the highest standards of music in our country and beyond," said Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, after the performance. Prof. Jansen thanked Mr Van Pletzen and his team for their outstanding leadership as well as the students in the choir for understanding how important the choir is to Kovsies and its broader messages of excellence and embrace.

The Sentraal Secondary School choir performed a song with the University Choir which was composed by Mr Van Pletzen.

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