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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 presents symposium on serious violent crime
2007-02-28

The Faculty of Law at the University of the Free State (UFS) is hosting a symposium on serious violent crime in South Africa on Wednesday, 7 March 2007.
 
“The symposium aims to provide stakeholders the opportunity to deliberate on and propose solutions to combat violent crime in South Africa,” said Prof Johan Henning, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the UFS.
 
According to Prof Henning perspectives on violent crimes from a psychological, business, constitutional and agricultural perspective will be given. “The themes to be discussed are amongst others the nature and extent of serious and violent crime in South Africa and the effect thereof, the reasons for violent crime and the role of the Constitution. Possible solutions will be put to the table to combat serious violent crime and there will also be an open session for input from the general public,” said Prof Henning.
 
Speakers who already confirmed to participate in the symposium include Dr  Matthews Phosa (former politician and now businessman), Mr Roelf Meyer (former minister of constitutional affairs and chairperson of the Civil Community Initiative), Dr Leon Wessels (National Commissioner of the South African Human Rights Commission), Judge Nathan Erasmus (Inspecting Judge of Prison Services), Mr Kiewiet Ferreira (convener of law and order from AGRISA) and Commissioner André Pruis (Deputy Commissioner of Operational Services at the South African Police Services).
 
Appeal court judge Fritz Brand and Judge Faan Hancke, chairperson of the UFS Council, will be the chairpersons of the symposium.
 
The symposium will be presented from 08:00-13:30 in the CR Swart Auditorium on the Main Campus in Bloemfontein. Attendance is free of charge. Those who are interested can call Prof Elizabeth Snyman-Van Deventer (051 401 2268) or Adv Jaco de Bruin (051 401 2433) to book a seat.
 
Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
6 February 2007
 

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