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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

UFS appoints external consultants
2008-05-22

The management of the University of the Free State (UFS) has begun to co-operate with knowledgeable external consultants to provide them with additional capacity.

The consultants will assist the UFS in identifying the stumbling blocks in the implementation of the residence integration policy and suggest ways to overcome them. They will also support management and make recommendations on how to accelerate the transformation and integration processes.

One of the consultants will facilitate the strategic marketing and communication of the university. Another consultant will be responsible to manage the perception/reputation of the university after the damage done to its public image by the Reitz video.

“Although the UFS management will make a decision about the future of Reitz, they want to make it in consultation with as many stakeholders as possible. The decision will therefore be shared and discussed with the Council during its meeting on 6 June 2008. The outcome will take into account the submissions received from persons on whom this decision will have a direct impact as well as the submissions from other stakeholders. This includes current students in Reitz, their parents and the present staff of Reitz,” said Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS.

“In the interim management is also having discussions with the relevant role players Good progress is being made,” said Prof. Verschoor.

“The UFS will persist purposefully on its declared course of quality teaching, learning, research, community service, administrative and operational support. The management team is committed to lead the UFS purposefully and effectively as an academically excellent higher education institution,” he said.

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 May 2008

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