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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

Intervarsity postponed to 2013
2012-03-08

The annual Intervarsity between the Universities of the Free State and North-West (NWU), which traditionally takes place in the third term, has been postponed to 2013.

The Intervarsity between the UFS and NWU is an illustrious event that has already reached the special milestone of celebrating a 70-year Intervarsity tradition. The UFS/NWU Intervarsity is also known as one of the most reckoned events on the local and national sports and student calendars, and it is widely supported.
 
Representatives from both universities could for a variety of reasons not decide on a date which suited both universities.
 
The respective Intervarsity committees and senior managers of both universities have also taken the interests of the respective university communities and alumni of the institutions into account and have decided to postpone the 70th-year celebration of Intervarsity by a year in order to be able to celebrate the milestone properly.
 
The UFS would have received the NWU in Bloemfontein this year and will therefore host the 70-year celebrations of the event next year as well.
 
Mr Rudi Buys, Dean: Student Affairs at the UFS has expressed his gratitude for the fact that both universities are committed to a special celebration of the Intervarsity tradition in 2013.
 
“The celebration of the 70th Intervarsity between the two institutions will be an important milestone to commemorate decades of friendship, collaboration and healthy competition. Therefore we welcome this opportunity to plan a bigger and better programme for 2013,” he said.
 
The UFS-NWU 70-YEAR Intervarsity firstly aims to establish the programme as a proud example for both universities, where students and staff can pit their strengths against one another in a healthy manner.
 
The aim is to extend Intervarsity to various sections of the respective university communities to enable more students to participate. For instance, more sports codes will be added to the traditional competition on the rugby, soccer, netball and hockey fields, whilst various events focusing on arts and culture, i.e. choral singing and debating competitions, as well as dialogue between student leaders, will take place as part of the programme. All campuses of the two universities will participate in the programmes.
 
Students are even investigating the possibility of electronic competitions such as on-line games as part of the Intervarsity
 
During the Intervarsity last year, several new possibilities were already tested to ensure that the 70th anniversary would be a huge success.
 
The Central Intervarsity Committee of the UFS has decided to replace the Intervarsity 2012 programme with an INTRA-varsity programme between its respective campuses. For this occasion, various sports, arts and culture, and leadership events between the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses are planned, and the Central University of Technology might be invited as well to participate as guests in some programmes.

Media Release
8 March 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za


 

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