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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

University hosts second International winter school
2012-08-17

Participating in the Winter School on Pluralism and Development were, from the left, back: Sitirohmanatin Fitriani, Indonesia; Pallavi Mishra, India; Ajita Vidyarthi, India; Damairia Pakpahan, Indonesia; Josephine Kigozi, Uganda and Annemarte van Kruchten, The Netherlands; in the front: Dot Vermeulen, South Africa and Masabata Mokgesi, South Africa.
Photo: Linda Fekisi
17 August 2012

The University of the Free State (UFS) once again hosted the annual international winter school on Pluralism and Development. Participants from India, Indonesia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and The Netherlands attended the winter school.

The international Winter School, organised by the University of Humanistic Studies in The Netherlands was held in South-Africa, on the Bloemfontein Campus, for the first time in 2011. It is held in partnership with the International Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice.

The winter school brings together an international group of staff from civil society based organisations, activists and graduate students who engage in critical thinking about issues such as ethics, human rights, political theory, sustainable development, governance, gender and education.

Participants took part in a series of lectures, workshops and field trips. The field trips included a visit to the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg.
 

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