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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

Latest information about fire in laboratory
2007-08-22

A meeting was held at 09:00 today to co-ordinate all the aspects around the fire that broke out in a laboratory in the Chemistry Building. Representatives from the fire brigade were also present. The following arrangements were made:

1. The entire Chemistry Building will be inaccessible until 17:00 this afternoon. Various experts are investigating the safety of the building and determining possible causes of the fire. By 17:00, personnel, students and other persons concerned will receive an indication regarding which parts of the building will be accessible, and at what times.

2. The acting head of the department, Prof. Ben Bezuidenhout, will inform the Chemistry students and staff about class and access arrangements. Chemistry students are requested to be on the lookout for NEWS FLASH messages via the intranet, as it might be necessary to distribute information in this way.

3. The university immediately initiated the planning of measures to limit the disruption of academic activities to a minimum.

It is confirmed that the fire was limited to a very small section in the building, and that there are no further safety risks for staff and students.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
21 August 2007
 

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