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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

Inaugural lecture: Prof André Pelser
2004-06-04

Tendencies and changes in the South African population structure in future decades.

Within the next five years South Africa will for the first time in the past century enter a period where the death rate will exceed the birth rate, largely due to the impact of HIV / AIDS.

According to sociologist Prof André Pelser, sociologist at the of the University of the Free State’s (UFS) Department of Sociology, the death rate exceeding the birthrate is only one of three demographic trends which will fundamentally change South Africa’s population structure in the following decades.

He was speaking at the UFS in Bloemfontein during his inaugural lecture as professor this week.

Prof Pelser said that according to some models the South African population will decrease within the next five decades by between 10 and 26 percent.

A second important trend which will impact on the population structure is the progressive ageing of the population.

He said the group above 65 years is the only age category in the South African population which will witness sharp increases in the next few decades.

In the next 50 years, the group younger than 15 years will reflect a decrease of 39% and those older than 65 years in South Africa will increase by approximately 110% in the next two decades.

“The systematic “greying” of the South African population will create the same economic and welfare issues as those with which governments in some more developed countries are already grappling,” said Prof Pelser.

A third trend affecting the South African population structure is the constant decrease in life expectancy.

Life expectancy at birth for the total population is projected to decrease from approximately 62 years at the beginning of the 1990’s to 43 years in 2015-2020, with sharp differences between the various population groups.

These tendencies and changes to the South African population structure have serious implications, he said.

For example, he said, the reduction in life expectancy could compromise national development objectives.

“It is estimated that more than a quarter of the economically active population will be infected with HIV by 2006,” said Prof Pelser.

The increase in the population, in age category 65, will place a financial burden on government and the economically active sector.

“Especially worrying is the fact that ever-increasing proportions of the state budget will be allocated to health and welfare services and this at the expense of other priorities like education, infrastructure, criminal justice system and trade and industry, to name but a few,” he said

“A comprehensive and integrated strategy is thus vitally important in addressing the overarching issues caused by changes in the population structure,” said Prof Pelser.

 

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