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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

Provisional registration period extended to 30 April 2012
2012-03-25

25 March 2012

After a week of intense negotiations between the senior leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) and the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the Bloemfontein and Qwaqwa Campuses, the SRC has managed to persuade the senior leadership to extend the provisional registration period to Monday 30 April 2012.

This means that, until 30 April 2012, no students will be deregistered for not being able to pay their provisional registration fee. The initial deadline for students to register provisionally was 6 April 2012.

The SRC requested the extension of provisional registration and the senior leadership of the UFS agreed thereto for the following reasons:

  • To allow students more time to raise the money;
  • To allow the provincial and national government, as well as NSFAS more time to respond to students’ financial needs; and
  • To allow the SRC and the university more time to consult with students with strong academic records about financial aid options outside the university.

“The SRC is glad to note that the university management values our efforts in representing our students and we've been able to leverage that advantage to negotiate an extension of the deregistration date with management. We're happy that in this case management has responded to the appeal of students through the SRC and we're exceptionally proud of our ability to push student interests to unprecedented heights,” says Mr Richard Chemaly, SRC President of the Bloemfontein Campus.

According to Mr Chemaly, the SRC is confident in their negotiation abilities. “While others might strike and protest, it is in the best interests of our students to talk to the senior leadership about important issues that are in the interests of students,” he says.

“Since our request to extend the provisional registration period was approved by the university management, the SRC has been working tirelessly to ensure that no deserving student gets deregistered. This includes setting up external funds, approaching the Premier’s office for assistance and setting up the most extensive bursary database any SRC has ever had,” Mr Chemaly says.

If there are any parents or students in need of help for provisional registration, please contact Mr Chemaly at  chemalyra@ufs.ac.za.
 

Media Release
25 March 2012
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Director: Strategic Communication
Tel: +27(0)51 401 2584
Cell: +27(0)83 645 2454
E-mail: news@ufs.ac.za

 

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