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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

State of our campuses: UFS Bloemfontein and South Campuses closed on Tuesday 20 September 2016
2016-09-19

After much consideration, the senior leadership of the University of the Free State (UFS) decided to close the Bloemfontein and South Campuses on Tuesday 20 September 2016.

Bloemfontein Campus:
No academic and administrative services will be available and no lectures and/or tests will take place.

The decision comes after all academic activities were suspended this afternoon because of a growing unease on campus and disruption of some academic activities by groups of students resulting from this morning’s announcement on tuition fees by the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande.

The closing of the campus will afford an opportunity to the senior leadership to further engage with the Student Representative Council (SRC).

South Campus:
Because of problems with bus transport from the Bloemfontein Campus to the South Campus, no academic services will be available tomorrow. No lectures and/or tests will therefore take place. Administrative services will, however, continue, and staff on the South Campus have to report for work.

Qwaqwa Campus:

Academic and administrative services on the Qwaqwa Campus will continue as normal tomorrow.

Information about the situation on the campuses will be shared as and when it becomes available during the course of tomorrow.

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