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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

ANC Centenary Seminar looks at the role of women in the liberation struggle
2012-03-22

 

At the ANC Centenary Seminar were, from the left: Nadine Lake, ProgrammeDirector: Gender Studies, at the UFS; Prof. Hassim; Zubeida Jaffer, Writer-in-Residence at the UFS; and Senovia Welman from the UFS-Sasol Library.
Photo: Amanda Tongha
22 March 2012


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Looking back at the history of South African politics you will always find women involved in that history.”

This is according to Prof. Shireen Hassim, a professor in Political Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, who recently spoke at an ANC Centenary Seminar, held on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS). The seminar is part of a series of dialogues hosted by the Centre for Africa Studies about the ruling party’s 100 years of existence. It was the first one to be held following the 100 year celebrations of the ANC in January 2012 and was dedicated to the ANC Women’s League. Prof. Hassim told the audience that from early roles as wives who provided catering and entertainment, women have always been politically active in the African National Congress (ANC).

Women took the lead in the defiance campaign, going beyond the role of tea lady of the 1910s. When the ANC went into exile, the women’s section, as it was called then, played an important role.” Prof. Hassim also praised independent women’s organisations for the role they had played during the struggle and added that they were part of the collective history.

Talking about today’s Women’s League, Prof. Hassim said there had been debate about its current role with some critics labelling the league conservative. “In recent years, they have become very allied to internal battles.”

According to Prof. Hassim, a new language was needed that could give voice to the policies that needed to be developed.She drew attention to the plight of rural women, saying that thus far urban women have been taking the lead in defining issues. She warned that legislation like the Traditional Courts Bill would put rural women at a disadvantage. Prof. Hassim said the Bill was not rigorously debated, despite the high number of women in Parliament.

 

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