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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

5 things you might not know about Elizabeth Molapo: Miss SA 2016 finalist
2015-11-20

Kovsies’ own beauty queen, Elizabeth Molapo

Elizabeth Lihotetso Molapo is a final-year BCom Economics student at the University of the Free State. The impeccably-beautiful 23-year-old is the only Bloemfontein representative among the top 12 contestants who have their eyes fixed on the Miss South Africa 2016 crown.

You might not know that:


1. Elizabeth was named after Queen Elizabeth 2, with whom she shares a birthday. Her middle name, “Lihotetso”, translates as “Fire”. Suffice it to say, her burning desire to learn - the pull factor for her embarking on the Miss SA 2016 journey - is a manifestation of her fate.

2. This is not her first time in the Miss SA competition. Last year, Elizabeth gave the Miss SA competition a try but unfortunately did not make very far.

3. Her childhood dream was to become a pediatrician. Economics won when she had to shadow at a hospital when she was in high school, and was horrified at the sight of blood. Elizabeth then decided: “This isn’t for me!”

4. “Enter Miss SA,” she recalls Rolene Strauss saying. The former Miss SA and current Miss World encouraged her to follow her dreams, and to aim for the most prestigious tiara in the country.

5. The last book she read was Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It is also the next one she might read, as she has read it three times already.

Other Kovsies who have made strides in the beauty pageant realm include Rolene Strauss who was crowned Miss SA 2014 and Miss World 2015. Earlier this year, Relebohile Kobeli was also crowned Miss Lesotho 2015 and is now en route to Miss World International 2015 in China.

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