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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

Update on the Review of the Language Policy of the UFS
2015-11-26

On 5 June 2015, the Council of the University of the Free State (UFS) mandated Management to conduct a review of the Language Policy. The University Management Committee (UMC) then established a Language Committee to undertake a comprehensive review of the existing parallel-medium policy and to make recommendations on the way forward with respect to the university's Language Policy.

The Language Committee has now completed its work and the review report and its recommendations were presented to the UMC, the Executive Committee of Senate (ECS), as well as the full Senate. Each of these bodies debated the report and its recommendations and the views of these various structures will be presented to Council on 4 December 2015.

Council will study the report of the Language Committee and deliberate on the recommendations and views of these different university bodies ahead of, and at its December 2015 meeting. At that meeting, Council will then decide whether or not to accept the findings and recommendations of the Language Committee.

Should Council decide that - having reviewed the committee report - a new Language Policy must be developed, it would then mandate that such a policy should be designed and presented to itself as the highest decision-making authority of a university. In that case, the new Language Policy would have to be presented again to the UMC and Senate for voting purposes and that vote would be formally presented to Council at one of its meetings in 2016. The Institutional Forum, a statutory body that represents all university stakeholders, would also at that point advise Council, per its mandate, on a new Language Policy.

In the event that a new Language Policy is accepted by Council in 2016, the earliest possible date for implementation would be January 2017.

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