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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

UFS discontinues one Masters programme
2006-07-26

As from next year, the University of the Free State (UFS) will no longer offer one of its specialist master’s degrees in education – the M Ed in Education Management.

 The other six M Ed programmes that are currently being offered at the UFS will continue as normal.

 The decision to discontinue one of the M Ed programmes follows a national review of M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership by the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC) of the Council on Higher Education (CHE).

 Of the 23 tertiary institutions whose M Ed programmes in Educational Management and Leadership were reviewed by the HEQC, only 7 received full accreditation.   

 “The findings of the HEQC affect only one of our M Ed degree programmes, namely the M Ed in Educational Management,” said Prof Magda Fourie, Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS

 “We will be paying full attention to the findings of the HEQC with a view to correcting some of the shortcomings that have been identified by the HEQC and will consider submitting a reviewed proposal for such a qualification in two years time,” she said.

 According to Prof Fourie, the programme currently has 30 students enrolled.  “These students – spread across their first and second years of the degree programme – will be allowed to complete their studies with the full support of the UFS and the School of Education,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The qualification that has been awarded to students who have already completed their studies for this specific M Ed in Education Management degree programme remains a valid qualification and is not affected by the HEQC review,” said Prof Fourie.

 She said the UFS welcomed the efforts of the HEQC to ensure that all academic programmes offered by higher education institutions meet certain standards.

“One of the primary problem areas in the M Ed in Educational Management offered by the UFS identified by the HEQC, was that the programme is too practice orientated and must be more theoretical to comply with the academic requirements of a master’s degree.  This was a result of the fact that the programme was initially compiled in consultation with principals and the provincial Department of Education to address their needs,” said Prof Fourie.

“The UFS will in the mean time offer an advanced certificate in Educational Management and Leadership from next year.  This is a new course that will stretch over a period of two years and will ensure that we can still address the needs of teachers and principals,” said Prof Fourie.

 “The UFS remains committed to providing top quality degree programmes in all its six faculties and will continue to work with the HEQC in ensuring that this actually happens,” said Prof Fourie.

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za 
25 July 2006

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