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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

Music builds bridges - Diva Mimi Coertse
2004-09-21

Music is not bounded by colour, religion, politics or time. It builds bridges. It reaches out to people’s hearts and feelings. Everyone understands the language of music. These were the words of the opera and chamber music diva, Mimi Coertse, who delivered the 34th C.R. Swart Memorial Lecture of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of the Free State. The theme of her lecture was Music as international language. Ms. Coertse said there are no boundaries to music. Different from the spoken word in drama, music can be understood by everyone. There are no boundaries in classical music – and specifically in opera. Developed nations adopted the Eurocentric art form as part of their culture. Examples are China, Korea and Japan where classical music became part of these counties’ national culture, she said. “Unfortunately, however, classical music is seen in many instances – and even in our country – as Eurocentric, but that is not the case. When you start analysing it, you will notice that our black choirs specifically sing opera in choir competitions. These choir competitions became a major industry. These choirs prefer to sing opera.” Ms. Coertse said music brings joy, pleasure, relaxations and healing. It moves into the inner chambers of people’s hearts. You cannot swear at someone in music of curse the. Music is sensual, emotional and very spiritual. God is the writer, man just the player.

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