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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

Prof. André Keet appointed to Ministerial Oversight Committee on Higher Education
2013-01-15

 

Prof. André Keet
Photo: Anja Aucamp
24 January 2013



Prof. André Keet, Director of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the university, has been appointed as member of the Oversight Committee on the Transformation of South African Universities. He is one of seven committee members that were appointed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Training to monitor progress on transformation in public universities.

The committee will advise Dr Blade Nzimande, Minister of Higher Education and Training, on policy to combat racism, sexism and other forms of unfair discrimination in public higher education. The committee will also advise on the role of universities in promoting the development of a free, fair and non-discriminatory society beyond the world of the academia.

The senior leadership of the university has welcomed the appointment of Prof. Keet and said with his extensive experience as a former Commissioner on the Commission for Gender Equality and as the Director of the university's Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (which was formed as one of several initiatives taken by the senior leadership in the aftermath of the Reitz incident), Prof. Keet will be a valuable member of the committee.

"Prof. Keet has the experience and expertise to guard the autonomy and academic freedom of universities, thus avoiding this committee from becoming a political intervention in the affairs of the higher education sector," said Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the university.

Honoured to be elected on the committee, Prof. Keet said he is ready to serve the national interest in the transformation of South African universities. "The appointment is also a compliment to the university and to its exceptional experience in the process of transformation."

Prof. Keet will serve on the committee for a period of three years. The other members of the committee are Prof. Malegapuru Makgoba, who will serve as chairperson, Dr Mvuyo Tom, Ms Nazeema Mohamed, Ms Zingiswa Losi, Mr Joe Mpisi and Prof. Shirley Walters.

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