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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

UFS mourns the death of a great linguist and educationalist
2012-08-29

He was one of the founders of the National Liberation Front. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit sabotage in 1964 and was sent to Robben Island for 10 years. During his incarceration, he taught history to fellow prisoners.

According to SA History Online, Alexander wrote of his time in prison: "The 'University of Robben Island' was one of the best universities in the country. It also showed me that you don't need professors.”

He also devoted most of his professional life to defend and preserve multilingualism in the post-apartheid South Africa and has become one of the major advocates of linguistic diversity.

During a recent visit to the UFS where he took part in a Critical Conversation at the Institute for Studies in Race, Reconciliation and Social Justice, Dr Alexander said that a multilingual state and culture could lead to more tolerance in South Africa.

In a tribute to Dr Alexander, Prof. Jonathan Jansen, UFS Vice-Chancellor and Rector, said Dr Alexander was an incorruptible, a revolutionary who remained true to his core values despite the materialistic excesses of former struggle heroes.

“He taught me many things, one of which was that Afrikaans is and can be a language of liberation and a vehicle for reconciliation. He took his methodology for language learning into the townships, and altered countless lives in the process. South Africa has lost a great scholar, a principled activist, a generous humanitarian and a formidable intellect; the last of the true revolutionaries.”

 

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