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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

Do universities need theology faculties?
2012-03-27

 

From left to right: Ms Anlené Taljaard, Department of Systematic Theology, Prof. Francois Tolmie, Dean: Faculty of Theology and Prof. Alan Boesak of the International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice. All three are from the UFS.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
27 March 2012


Challenges facing training in theology in South Africa was the focus of a public lecture by Prof. Alan Boesak of the International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice at the university. Prof. Boesak is one in a series of speakers who were invited by the university’s Faculty of Theology to discuss the broader theme of the transformation of knowledge. The presence of a faculty of theology at a public university has been a point of discussion in many circles.

“Our country needs an RDP of the soul and who better than the theology faculties to make a contribution in this regard?” asked Prof. Boesak.
 
“An important challenge for a faculty of theology lies in the content that theology students learn. Does the content reflect the context of South Africa today? Theology students must be prepared to make a positive, meaningful contribution in their congregations and communities within the realities of South Africa,” Prof. Boesak said.
 
Prof. Boesak’s lecture was attended by not only lecturers and students in theology, but also staff members from several other departments on the university’s Bloemfontein Campus.
 
Several national and international speakers will present guest lectures during the year in order to sketch a more complete picture of the “transformation of knowledge”.

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