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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

UFS one of four to present course

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the University of the Free State (UFS), the Chief Directorate: Population and Development in the national Department of Social Development, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Leadership for Environment and Development Southern Africa (LEAD-SA) for the presentation of a short course titled Leadership Training in Sustainable Development:  The Population, Environment and Development Nexus for provincial and municipal managers.  The UFS is one of four universities in the country that have been chosen to implement this short course.  The course acts as skills transfer medium in population, development and the environment. 

During the signing of the memorandum of understanding, was from the left front:  Dr Lillian Marutle (UNFPA), Prof Magda Fourie (Vice-Rector: Academic Planning at the UFS) and Prof Sosten Chiotha (Director of LEAD-SA).

Back:  Mr Jacques van Zuydam (Chief Director: Population and Development), Mr Mpho Nenwelli (from the Chief Directorate Population and Development) and Prof André Pelser (lecturer at the UFS Department of Sociology and course co-ordinator). Photo: Lacea Loader

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