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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

Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture launches national Women’s Month Celebrations
2012-08-17

Free State Premier Ace Magashule with President Jacob Zuma during the Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture held on the Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Stephen Collett
6 August 2012

 

“Mother of African Freedom, heroine, teacher, unifier and true revolutionary.”

That is how dignitaries such as President Jacob Zuma, African Union (AU) Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga and others described Charlotte Maxeke, the woman they came to celebrate at the University of the Free State on 4 August 2012.

President Zuma honoured the life of the ANC Women’s League stalwart in delivering the fifth annual Charlotte Maxeke Memorial Lecture. The event officially kicked off the national Women’s Month celebrations and thousands of people made their way to the Bloemfontein Campus to listen to the President’s address.

President Zuma told the audience in the Callie Human Centre that women activism had not started with the 1956 march to the Union Buildings – it began much earlier. He spoke about Charlotte Maxeke’s leading role in the landmark 1913 march against pass laws in Bloemfontein and said this had inspired bravery and enthusiasm in the hearts of many in the struggle.

“As a collective, we must emulate the contribution of Mama Maxeke. In her honour, we must continue to open new paths for women, enable them to break new ground in leadership." President Zuma said Charlotte Maxeke, who believed a woman’s place was everywhere, had to be smiling with regard to Dr Dlamini Zuma’s appointment as Chairperson of the AU Commission.

In her speech, Dr Dlamini Zuma encouraged women to embrace the African Decade of Women, saying it was their responsibility to define and implement the changes they want to see. “We should define for ourselves what this decade means, define that we want to do, the role we want to play and achieve during this decade.”

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