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14 June 2018 Photo iStock
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

Academics proud of their children
2012-03-29

 

Photo: Hannes Pieterse
29 March 2012


Carmien, the daughter of Prof. Francois Tolmie, the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, received the degree B.Sc. Hons. (Cum laude) in Biotechnology.

For Prof. Theo du Plessis’ family, the graduation ceremony meant double joy. His daughter, Mènan, received her B-degree in Architecture, while his son, Jean-Pierre, got an award for the best honours project in Computer Science. Here are, from left: Jean-Pierre, Mrs Colleen du Plessis, Prof. Theo du Plessis en Mènan. Prof. Du Plessis is the head of the Department of Language Management and Language Practice and Mrs Du Plessis is a lecturer in the Department of English.

Johané Nienkemper (B.Sc. Hons.) (middle) received the Senate’s medal and prize as the best honours student at the UFS, as well as the Dean’s medal as the best honours student in the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. With her are her sister, Marisan Niemkemper, and her mother, Mrs Dorothy Russell of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Bernadette du Toit (middle) received a B.Com Honours degree (Cum laude) at the graduation ceremony on Friday. She is here with her parents, Prof. Gawie du Toit and his wife, Dr Erna du Toit, both of the Faculty of Education. She is one of three people to receive such high marks in the past 30 years.


 

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