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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

Future of Reitz Residence still to be decided
2008-04-22

Statement by the Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Frederick Fourie

Reports in some media today (Monday, 21 April 2008) may have created the impression that the University of the Free State (UFS) has made a decision not to close the Reitz Residence where four former students produced a racist video.

This is incorrect. No such or any other decision on the future of Reitz Residence has been taken. The UFS Council mandated management last month to consider the possibility of closure of the residence and of its conversion into a beacon of transformation, hope and liberation (either as a residence or in some other form). Persons who will be affected directly by such a decision (and others) were given the opportunity to make written submissions for consideration by management.

The "Nasionale Unie van oud-Reitzmanne" is a grouping of former students and one of many groups that utilise this opportunity. They held a meeting in Bloemfontein this past weekend where the call was made for Reitz to remain open as a residence. This call was reported as if it was a decision of the UFS.

Their submission will be considered along with the various written submissions that have been made and they are being carefully studied. When this process is over, the University will make an announcement on the future of the residence.

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  
21 April 2008

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