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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

Kovsies welcomes first-years into the fold
2015-01-20

Three first-year students from the Kestell residence that attended the first-year welcoming.
Photos: Johan Roux


 

Few life experiences are as exciting as becoming part of a university. On Friday 16 January 2015, Kovsies embraced our first-year students into our family after great anticipation.

That evening, first-years and their parents streamed to the Red Square on our Bloemfontein Campus where they were formally welcomed. This event also served to kick off the 2015 Gateway Programme – an orientation programme for all our first-years.

Dr Choice Makhetha, Vice-Rector: External Relations, addressed the first-years and congratulated them on their excellent matric results.

“The fact that you are here is a testimony to the level you are able to work at,” Dr Makhetha said.“You will have fun and make friends at the UFS. Your friends will be from different backgrounds and speak different languages than you. Embrace it all. You are now a part of the UFS family.

President of the Student Representative Council (SRC), Mosa Leteane, also reassured first-years that they are where they belong – at a university that inspires excellence.“This is the only space where the university’s international relations give opportunity to first-years to travel abroad with our F1 Leadership for Change Programme,” Leteane said. “It is the only space where the rector openly talks to his students, without having an appointment. It is the only space in our country where no student goes hungry due to our No Student Hungry (NSH) Programme.”

The following evening provided a spectacular live show with well-known artists Karen Zoid and Vusi Mahlasela entertaining the crowd. They performed alongside the Free State Symphony Orchestra (FSSO) that added even more dazzle to this Gateway/NSH first-years concert.

On Saturday 17 January, the new-comers had an opportunity to visit their respective faculties and get to know the staff and facilities a bit better.

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