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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

UFS Department of Psychology of Education joins hands with government


The Department of Psychology of Education at the University of the Free State (UFS) has joined hands with the Free State Department of Education's Sub-Directorate: Inclusive Education with a view to developing a revised qualification, namely the Advanced Certificate in Education (Learner Support in Inclusive Education). The purpose of this qualification is to equip educators with the necessary skills to effectively support learners with learning barriers. An undertaking was also made to strengthen co-operation between the two education stakeholders. At the meeting were, from the left: Mr Paul Hansen and Ms Maphoka Liphapang (both Chief Education Specialists in the Department of Education), Ms Annelie Ferreira (Chairperson of the meeting and Lecturer in the UFS Department of Psychology of Education) and Dr Greg Alexander (Lecturer in the UFS Department of Psychology of Education).
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

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