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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

New residences open on Bloemfontein Campus
2013-01-21

 

Photo: Johan Roux
21 January 2013



Beginning 2013, the Bloemfontein Campus is seeing the opening of two new residences where male and female students will be housed under one roof but in separate units. Each residence will house 250 students.

House ConLaurês and House Outeniqua were opened for their first-years and Residence Committee (RC) on Friday 18 January 2013. The two newly Residence Heads, Mr Frank Makhabane (ConLaurês) and Mrs Leani Wimble (Outeniqua) welcomed the new residents.

The uniqueness of these residences is that they will be the first co-ed residences on campus. These residences are wheel chair friendly with fully equipped disabled rooms available. All signage has also been done in Braille. Each floor of the new residences has two lounges, as well as a fully fitted kitchen.

The Prime of House ConLaurês, Sherilyn Roelofse, says, “We aim to create a living space that is holistic and welcoming and will allow our residence members to be able to excel in a number of things”. Sherilyn says ConLaurês comes from the word “Condo Laurus”, which means dreams of victory. The House’s slogan is “The Symphony of Dreams”. Students came up with the name for the residence.

Tsatsi Mokoena, RC member responsible for RAG at House ConLaurês says RC members have been working hard for the past few months, trying to imagine how to do things without a physical structure. ConLaurês will be a residence with an inspirational living space where each student feels welcome, respected for who they are and at home, so that they will have the confidence to follow their dreams.”

The Prime of Outeniqua, Vusumzi Mesatywa says, “Change is always welcome and that is the mindset that we will be embracing as the new residences. When a student graduates, we need them to graduate not only as academics, but also as humans, holistic beings”.

Marla Stanier, RC First-Year Mentor at Outeniqua, says that new experiences await every student that walks through the doors of the residence. “As excited as we are, this new experience will test us in many ways.However, if we stand together as one, we will succeed.”

Mr Quintin Koetaan, Director of Housing and Residence Affairs, says, “The opening of ConLaurês and Outeniqua is a dream come true, providing accommodation for a new generation of students in the 21st Century”.

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