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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

International Literacy Day an opportunity to reach out
2016-09-08

Description: International Literacy Day 2016 Tags: International Literacy Day 2016

Sasol Library
Photo: Sonja Small


Library and Information Services and Community Engagement office promote literacy.

Fifty years ago UNESCO officially proclaimed 8 September International Literacy Day to actively mobilise communities and to promote literacy as an instrument of empowering individuals and society. This year this great milestone will be celebrated under the banner “reading the past, writing the future”. As we commemorate 50 years we should ask ourselves whether Illiteracy has been eradicated or not.

As part of its outreach programme, Library and Information Services, in collaboration with the office of Community Engagement, for the first time jointly celebrate International Literacy Day and invited members of the community to a book launch which took place at Lefikeng High School in Botshabelo on 8 September 2016. The programme also included the establishment of a small library at the school, and on 15 September, a writer’s day event will be held together with the Department of African Languages on the Bloemfontein Campus.

The book, “Amazing Grace”, was written by Free State-born writer, Charles Dunn. Dunn took the opportunity to speak to students and the community of Botshabelo about his inspiration for writing the book, as well as take them through his journey of life, from surviving drug addiction to imprisonment, and how he finally changed his life to become an author.

In working towards eradicating illiteracy, the Library and Information Services has hosted a number of book launches in the past, to encourage a culture of reading and writing among academia, students and surrounding communities, as well as opportunities for them to network with local and international authors. Feedback from these events bears testimony that indeed the library is successful in creating spaces for lifelong learning.

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