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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

Students speak at Faculty of Law as part of Blackstone Legal Fellowship Programm
2012-08-01

 
At the event were, from the left: Elizabeth Oklevitch, Ewelina Ochab, Prof. Shaun de Freitas and Prof. Andries Raath, also from the Department of Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs
1 August 2012

Two students from abroad, Elizabeth Oklevitch, studying at the Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach in the US, and Ewelina Ochab, a postgraduate student with a Diploma in Law who received her LLB from the University of Kent at Canterbury, have each delivered a 15-minute presentation at the Faculty of Law. These presentations are part of the six-week practical leg of the Blackstone Legal Fellowship Programme, held annually in Phoenix, Arizona.

This is the fourth consecutive year that the Faculty of Law has been involved in this initiative.

Oklevitch spoke on the impact of the natural law grounding of Sir William Blackstone’s system of rights and Ochab about the margin of appreciation in the case A, B and C v Ireland.

According to Prof. Shaun de Freitas from the Department of Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law, the programme is aimed at teaching law students the importance of religious freedoms and rights. The programme is run by Alliance Defending Freedoms (ADF) in the US.

“The programme (in its 14th year) accommodates more than 130 students at the moment, representing schools of law in the United States (which include the universities of Duke, Harvard, Notre Dame, New York and Yale) and Europe. To date, approximately 1 100 students have completed the programme,” said Prof. De Freitas.
 

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