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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

African values important for transformation, says deputy minister
2007-11-06

The Deputy Minister of Education, Mr Enver Surty, says real transformation in education cannot take place if African values and belief systems are not put at the centre of educational practices.

Mr Surty was speaking last night at the launch of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein.

According to the Deputy Minister of Education, the launch of the Centre for Africa Studies at the University of the Free State shows a strong commitment by the university to transformation.

“It shows the readiness on the part of the institution to create and consolidate space for African epistemologies as a way of reclaiming our African identity”, Mr Surty said.

He said the launch provided all stakeholders with a golden opportunity to influence curriculum development in schools so that it better reflects the understanding and the desire to learn more about Africa. He said this cannot happen without a sound knowledge produced by Africans, which can then be shared with the rest of humanity.

“It is no longer tenable that African scholars should take a back seat and merely consume, often uncritically, knowledge systems that have been produced and sifted through other minds. Similarly, our intellectual pursuits cannot take place in isolation. Indeed our fountains of knowledge could only be deepened with more exposure to, and critical engagement with other systems of knowledge across the world”, he said.

According to the Director of the Africa Studies Programme at the UFS, Prof Phillip Nel, the Centre for Africa Studies will focus on the issues and challenges of Africa and make the context of Africa a part of the UFS’s academic activities in a sustained and innovative way.

The centre will closely co-operate and liaise with prominent African initiatives and structures like the African Union, Pan-African Parliament, Southern African Development Community (SADC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and many others.

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

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