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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 situation on the Bloemfontein Campus
2016-02-22

State of our campuses #5

Striking outsourced contract workers have been demonstrating outside the Main Gate of the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS since this morning. A contingent of the Public Order Policing is on campus to ensure stability.

A few classes have been disrupted by students and some have entered the UFS Sasol Library. Matters are under control and academic and administrative services continue as normal. Students are advised to consult with the dean of their faculty for information regarding classes.

The Main Gate to the campus is closed; staff and students are advised to use other gates to enter or exit the campus. If you feel unsafe in any way, please call +27(0)51 401 2634 for assistance. Further updates will follow.

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