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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

Statement following a protest march on the Main Campus
2006-09-07

Statement by UFS management following a protest march on the Main Campus

A protest march by a small number of SASCO members took place at the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Main Campus in Bloemfontein today (Wednesday 6 September 2006).

At the end of the protest march a memorandum was handed to the Dean of Student Affairs, Dr Natie Luyt.

The UFS Management remains committed to provide quality education to all students at the UFS. The management is also committed to the transformation of the campus and to creating a non-racial, multilingual and multicultural student life.

It must be remembered that certain processes are already in place to address some of the issues raised, such as a Transformation Plan Task Team, which is in the process of drafting a comprehensive transformation plan for the UFS.

Discussions are also already taking place between management and student structures, including SASCO, about certain issues raised in the memorandum.

However, the management will respond to the memorandum using the appropriate channels that exist on campus to communicate with all student formations, including SASCO.

The UFS management wishes to thank the SASCO members for the peaceful and non-violent way in which the protest march was conducted and for which the management had granted SASCO permission.

The UFS management appeals to SASCO to make use of the channels that exist to address the concerns of their members and find workable solutions in the interest of a quality university and quality student life.

Media release
Issued by: Anton Fisher
Director: Strategic Communication
Cell: 072 207 8334
6 September 2006

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