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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

Green Fest on Saturday 8 September 2012
2012-08-31

The university will host its first Green Festival on Saturday 8 September 2012. The festival will focus on protecting and sustaining natural resources for current and future generations.

The university has invited Grade 9 to 11 learners from 41 schools around Bloemfontein to participate in cleaning up the city. The learners and Kovsie students will clean the streets around the Bloemfontein campus. The clean-up teams will meet on the campus in the vicinity of Mooimeisiesfontein; whereafter the rubbish collected will be sorted and taken to the Rat Race recycling company.

Other activities for the day include a Green Quiz that will help educate learners and students about green issues. Coca Cola will sponsor the prizes for the festival, as well as the food and drinks for all the learners invited to the festival. The learners will visit 20 stalls and exhibitions of sustainable green materials and organic food on the Red Square. Documentary movies with green themes on environmental issues will be screened.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university, has urged everyone to participate in the Green Festival.

The programme for the day starts at 09:00 with buses taking learners to the respective pick-up spots. Prof. Jansen will deliver a Green Fest Speech at 11:45 in front of the Main Building. Other activities include the Green Quiz, Green Movie festival and music items.
 

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