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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

Graduates should use knowledge to ‘re-dream society’
2016-09-19

Description: Spring Graduation 2017 Tags: Spring Graduation 2017

Dr Molapo Qhobela, CEO of the National Research
Foundation was the guest speaker at the
2016 Spring Graduation ceremonies on the
UFS Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Johan Roux

“The knowledge you receive, the skills and tools you have acquired, whether they are tools of time management, tenacity or brilliance, are what we as this emerging new society need to re-dream for the type of society we would like see in this country.”

These were the inspiring words of guest speaker Dr Molapo Qhobela to graduates of the University of the Free State (UFS) at the Spring Graduation ceremonies on 15 September 2016 in the Callie Human Centre on the Bloemfontein Campus. Dr Qhobela is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Research Foundation.

A total of 442 degrees, diplomas and certificates were conferred on graduates from six UFS faculties, namely the Faculties of Law, Humanities, Education, Health Sciences, Economic and Management Sciences and Natural and Agricultural Sciences.

Joyous atmosphere befitting a spring ceremony

The spirit at the spring ceremonies was truly inspiring, joyous and heart-warming. The jubilation from the audience as the procession entered the hall demonstrated the exhilaration of graduates and their families. The sense of accomplishment and pride reverberated as the graduates walked across the stage.

Graduates’ hard work and dedication applauded

 “You endured what you had to
endure and you enjoyed what
had to be enjoyed.”

“You have worked incredibly hard and the privilege to walk across the red carpet only goes to those who were prepared to do the work,” Dr Khotso Mokhele, Chancellor of the UFS said.

He applauded graduates for the many hours and sacrifices they had to endure, saying: “You endured what you had to endure and you enjoyed what had to be enjoyed.” Dr Mokhele also mentioned the amazing Gold medal win at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro of UFS star athlete, Wayde van Niekerk.

Distinctions awarded by the UFS.

 

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