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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

Masters Degree in Development Studies Programme
2006-02-03

The Masters Degree in Development Studies Programme, presented by the Centre for Development Support at the University of the Free State (UFS), this year boasts with the most international students registered for a masters programme at the UFS.  The programme is designed for people currently working in a development-related context, or who intend to do so.  This year almost 140 applications were received, from which only 58 were accepted.  Of those, 60% are from African countries.        
 

 

The programme's first contact session took place recently.  Attending the session were from the left Prof Lucius Botes (Programme Director: Centre for Development Support at the UFS); Ms Tendai Chiduku (a student from Zimbabwe); Ms Julia Shipena (a student from Namibia); Mr Neo Masithela (Free State MEC for Tourism, Environmental and  Economic Affairs and a student on the programme) and Mrs Dorie Olivier (Programme Coordinator at the UFS Centre for Development Support).
Photo: Armand Swanepoel

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