This past weekend saw South Africans concerned over the wellbeing of Wololo hitmaker, and internationally recognised artist, Babes Wodumo who posted a live video of herself being physically abused by her boyfriend Mampintsha.
In the video, Babes and Mampintsha seem to be arguing and Babes can be heard asking him in Zulu, "why are you hitting me". Then it appears that she strategically places her cellphone in front of her shortly before Mampintsha follows her around what looks like a hotel room and assaults her.
He then walks away from her, comes back and slaps her again. Babes can be heard whimpering in the background until the hair raising video comes to an end.
Although it has since been removed from her Instagram, the video has been doing its rounds on social media and South Africans are enraged.
Last year May, Babes and Mampintsha also made headlines after Babes didn't confirm nor deny suspicions of abuse on a controversial MetroFM interview with radio presenter Masechaba Ndlovu.
The couple had apparently been experiencing some relationship difficulties and Mampintsha swiftly took to social media to let everyone know that he "is no saint" and also asked everyone to "pray" for the couple.
Now social media users, celebrities and politicians alike are calling on justice for Babes and for Mampintsha to be arrested.
The DA's Mmusi Maimane even took to Twitter challenging Mampintsha to three rounds in a boxing ring. "If Mampintsha has it in him I'll challenge him to three rounds in a boxing ring [...]", he wrote in his tweet.
If Mampintsha has it in him, I’d challenge him to 3 rounds on a boxing ring. He must bring it on, violence against woman must be condemned. A charge must be opened. It makes me sick this behavior.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) March 4, 2019
Nathi Mthethwa, the SA minister of arts and culture also took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the incident calling Babes to open a case against Mampintsha, "We're absolutely horrified by the actions of musician Mampintsha [...]" he wrote in his tweet.
1. We're absolutley horrified by the actions of Musician Mapmpintsha @MampintshaNuz caught on video where he brutally abuses Internationally celebrated Artist @BABESWODUMO. We do not only condemn this senseless act but call on @BABESWODUMO to immediately press charges against him pic.twitter.com/K7W1cyO0aO— Min. Nathi Mthethwa (@NathiMthethwaSA) March 4, 2019
While the EFF also weighed in on all of the controversy with the following statement:
Musician Prince Kaybee also took to Twitter calling on other artists to take a stand against men like Mampintsha, "We cannot allow their abusive and monstrous acts to continue on our watch [...]"
As artists we have to take a stand against men like Mampintsha. We cannot allow these abusive & monstrous acts to continue under our watch.— Prince Kaybee (@PrinceKaybee_SA) March 4, 2019
We have to protect Babes & other women from abusers like him. Mampintsha must be arrested, FULL STOP!
Thousands of her fans also lent their support for Babes and called for Mampintsha to be arrested.
But many keep asking the question why she went back to what was being cast as an abusive relationship.
There's a stat that says that women generally return to their abusers seven times before they leave for good.
It really is not that easy as highlighted in this article in The Conversation, written by Daniel G. Saunders, a professor emeritus of social work at the University of Michigan.
He says, "Not surprisingly, lack of material resources, such as not having a job or having limited income, is a strong factor. Lack of support – and even blame – from family, friends and professionals can add to the sense of helplessness caused by the abuse. Then there is often the constant fear, based in reality, that abuse and stalking will continue or escalate after leaving. The risk of homicide, for example, increases for a period of time after a woman leaves her abusive partner."
We all remember in horror, what happened to Karabo Mokoena when she was brutally murdered by her boyfriend Sandile Mantsoe.
In a bid to get a deeper understanding around why women in abusive relationships decide to stay even though their lives are being threatened, I spoke to two women who experienced a similar trauma for years before they decided to end things.
Claire* is a 31-year-old woman who suffered abuse at the hands of her long-term boyfriend for ten years before she decided to leave him. Read her story below.
"Tim and I had been together since high school and he was the sweetest man I'd ever met. Over the years however he began to change, he was no longer as caring and gentle as before. Both his parents had died and left him to look after his younger siblings.
I guess it drained the life from him because after that happened, he seemed to be a changed man. The first time he hit me was after we visited some friends of ours. He'd been drinking and became jealous after claiming one of his friends was standing too close to me.
His fist landed firmly on my jaw and knocked out one of my teeth. I was so shocked I don't even remember feeling any pain. I do remember him crying and begging for forgiveness. I'd never seen him cry before then. My heart was broken but it was an accident. Or at least that's what I wanted to believe.
READ MORE: Why do women stay in abusive relationships?
The next few months went by and we pretended that it never happened, that is, until it happened again - The reason this time was because I had come home from work later then he expected.
Soon after that, the beatings became frequent and so did the crying and begging for forgiveness. And all I did was forgive, I mean, life was kind of rough on him, it wasn't his fault that he sometimes couldn't control his anger, right?
Besides, he always provided for me and when he didn't get angry over silly little things he was still a good man, and so I stayed. I just couldn't believe that someone who loved me so much was capable of killing me until I woke up in a cold bath after he'd choked me until I passed out.
It was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but I left. I told myself that if I continued making excuses for him, I'd end up dead".
Thando is a 28-year-old woman who spent two weeks in hospital after the man who claimed to love her broke both her collar bone and fractured three of her ribs. Read her story below.
"Thato and I had always had a rocky relationship but we loved each other more than anything in the world which is why the first time he hit me, I didn't want to make it a big deal. I brushed it off as him just really caring about me a little too much sometimes.
As a child I'd also see my dad getting physical with my mom sometimes, so I kind of accepted this a a norm for all relationships.
After a while of getting beaten by Thato, I even became numb to the pain. I remember my sisters begging me to arrest him or at least leave him. I didn't want any of that. I mean I love this man, he just had some anger issues.
That could change. I'd help him with patience and understanding.
But nothing changed. The beatings became more and more brutal and I found myself skipping work to avoid curious stares. I even stayed away from friends and family because I didn't want them in my business.
This one day I decided to go and have a drink with a colleague of mine after work. When I arrived home I already knew a beating would be waiting, I just didn't know how bad it would be. I ended up in hospital with a bunch of broken bones.
While in hospital I learned that my sisters had moved my things from his place and I'm glad they did. I'd probably never have left if they didn't because even though I knew he would eventually kill me, I stayed because I believed he could change."
According to this 1st for woman article, some of the classic reasons women stay in abusive relationships are, isolation, victim blaming and humiliation.
"These can result in a condition known as battered woman syndrome, when a woman’s self-esteem has taken such a knock that she does not believe she will be able to cope on her own outside of the relationship.
She finds it impossible to leave, or if she does leave, always comes back - largely due to the manipulation, charm and promises of the partner."
Relationship expert Paula Quinsee also cites upbringing and background as one of the reasons women sometimes choose to stay.
"Upbringing and background have a large role to play in this behaviour as well as personal experiences. The foundation of our emotional intelligence is formed in childhood, particularly the first seven years of a child’s life.
If a person grows up in an abusive environment (physical, emotional, substance abuse etc), they will potentially form a skewed perspective that this is the norm and how relationships and love is supposed to be.
However this is not the case in every relationship, there are various factors that can contribute to a person being abusive, as previously mentioned".
Paula's advice for women in abusive relationships includes identifying the problem as soon as it begins and setting certain boundaries.
"It may be difficult to address this with the partner as they may not feel safe to do so. They would need to start with clearly identifying the behaviour they are unhappy with and what they need instead (e.g. I need you to stop interrupting me when I am speaking and to listen to me).
They need to put boundaries in place and be firm about the behaviour they are no longer willing to tolerate (e.g. if you carry on shouting at me I am not going to engage with you until you have calmed down and we can talk calmly about things) and follow through to help the partner realise they are being serious
When attempts are unsuccessful it is best to seek professional help for both parties to understand the impact of the abusive behaviour and if necessary attend a rehabilitation program (e.g. anger management)." she says.
People Against Women Abuse offer the following advice to women who may be dealing with an abusive partner or family member.
1. Ask family or friends for support
2. Go for counselling for yourself or couple counselling
3. Lay a charge of assault with the police
4. Get a Domestic Violence Protection Order at the local Magistrate’s Court
5. Call a family meeting
6. Ask a supportive religious leader to intervene.
If you are or know anyone who is a victim of abuse please contact POWA. Postal Address: PO Box 93416, Yeoville 2143 Johannesburg. Telephone: 011 642 4345 / 6. Fax: 011 484 3195. Email: email@example.com.
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