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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

Suspect in theft of computer equipment arrested
2007-11-16

A suspect, who may be involved in the recent theft of computer equipment from buildings on the Bloemfontein campus of the University of the Free State (UFS), has been arrested.

On 13 November 2007 an alarm in the Agriculture Building on the Main Campus of the UFS was activated. Protection Services reacted to the alarm and the person, who tried to run away, was pursued and later arrested.

The suspect was handed to the South African Police Service (SAPS). Currently SAPS is conducting an intensive investigation in co-operation with Protection Services at the UFS.

“The extent of the investigation goes beyond this single case for which the captive was arrested,” said Mr Willie Frankim, Manager: Protection Services at the UFS.

Meanwhile, the UFS’s Safety Committee has decided on a number of measures to heighten security on campus, including:

  • Patrols between buildings are to be intensified.
  • Vehicles leaving the campus will be searched. This is being done on an ad hoc basis at all the gates.

According to Mr Frankim the university is also looking at extending the alarm system and measures to secure buildings on campus.
He said: “The above will not happen overnight. We request all staff members and students to give their co-operation and to be more security conscious by:

  • Giving their co-operation at the gates when their vehicle is searched,
  • To ensure that the windows of your office and building are closed,
  • To lock office doors when you leave the office, even if it is for a short while,
  • Not to leave your office unattended when there are strangers,
  • to report suspicious persons as soon as possible to Protection Services,
  • To ensure that valuable articles (laptops and cell phones) are locked away,
  • To ensure the safekeeping of keys (not in drawers or on top of a door frame), and
  • Determine who has access to a building and question anybody unknown.”

Contact Protection Services at any of the following numbers:

Duty room: O51-4012634 / 051-4012911

Mr Aggrey Litseho (investigation officer): 051-4013225 / 0836347919 /
Short cell phone x6060

Mr Willie Frankim (manager): 051 401 3438 / 0828831760/
Short cell phone x6000

“We can only combat crime if everybody is aware of their environment, everybody adheres to the basic rules and co-operates with Protection Services,” said Mr Frankim.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
15 November 2007
 

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