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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

Registrar takes leadership role at Golden Key International
2012-03-08

 

Dr Derek Swemmer
8 March 2012

The world’s premier academic honour society, the Golden Key International Honour Society, has recognised academic excellence at our university by appointing Dr Derek Swemmer, Registrar of the UFS, as chairperson of its international board of directors.

Dr Swemmer is the first South African to serve as Chairperson of the governing body of the society. He will take up office in July 2012. Dr Swemmer, who has served as a board member for two terms, was appointed at a recent board meeting of the society in Georgia, Atlanta in the United States.
 
Dr Swemmer's role as Chairperson of the board is to ensure that the society’s values of academic excellence, leadership and service are followed in the more than 375 chapters worldwide. He will serve a three-year term on the board, which oversees the awarding of scholarships worth $1 million to its members annually.
 
Dr Swemmer says he is honoured to serve the UFS and South Africa in this capacity. “The appointment is humbling when you know you have hundreds of volunteers that could have been asked to serve.”
 
Dr Swemmer, who is co-advisor of the UFS Golden Key chapter, says he hopes to help the society to expand its service activities in order to provide an excellent example to the world of how highly skilled academic students render meaningful service to their communities, both at university and to the broader community.
 
He says the Golden Key International Honour Society is a very important part of the UFS’s Academic and Human project.

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