Babes Wodumo and boyfriend Mampintsha. Zanele Zulu/African News Agency (ANA)

It's traumatic to watch, and yet South Africa woke up the video of gqom musician Babes Wodumo allegedly being assaulted by her boyfriend Mampintsha.

The attack was broadcast on her Instagram feed on Sunday night. But it's not the first time the couple have been involved in altercations. 

Despite the fact that domestic abuse and violence against women and children are often under-reported due to the victim’s fear, statistics of abuse experienced and reported in South Africa remain extremely high, according to Courtney Greene - occupational therapist at Akeso Clinic Umhlanga.

“Often abuse may stem from early learning experiences. Many abusers were abused in their lifetime and have learned to see hurtful behaviour as normal", said Greene.

But the big question people want to know is why do victims always go back? Control is a big deciding factor. "The aggressor often uses mind games, anger, threats and insults to dominate the victim and control her actions and habits," Greene commented.

"They may tell you what to wear, who you may see, and use threats of violence or self-harm in order to attempt to control the victim.”

Tell-tale signs of abuse:

  • Seem afraid or anxious to please their partner;
  • Talk about their partner's temper, jealousy, or possessiveness;
  • Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of “accidents”;
  • Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions, without explanation;
  • Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses indoors);
  • Show major personality changes (e.g. an outgoing person becomes withdrawn, be depressed, anxious, or suicidal);
  • Have limited access to money, credit cards, or the car.

Helpful organisations

  • Akeso 24-hour helpline: 0861 4357 87
  • Family And Marriage Society of South Africa (FAMSA) gives counselling to the abused and their families. Tel: 011 975 7101 www.famsa.org.za.
  • Lifeline provides 24-hour counselling services. Call the SA National Counselling Line on 0861 322 322.
  • People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) provides telephonic, counselling and legal support to women experiencing abuse. 083 765 1235  www.powa.co.za
  • Rape Crisis offers free confidential counselling to people who have been raped or sexually assaulted. Call 011 642 4345.
  • SAPS 10111
  • SADAG - Mental Health Line 011 234 4837