Identifying Gender-Based Violence & Getting Help


In light of the assault posted on South African musician Babes Wodumo’s Instagram live feed (which has now been deleted) on Sunday evening where which her partner, musician Mampintsha was seen physically assaulting her, we needed to reiterate that how much more intolerant and vocal against gender-based violence, especially against womxn and children our country needs to be.

What is Gender-based Violence?

Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence directed at an individual based on one’s biological sex OR gender identity. It includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse, threats, coercion, and economic or educational deprivation, whether in public or private.

Gender-based violence is a profound violation of women’s human rights and a major barrier to social and economic development. Studies conducted in South Africa show high levels of domestic violence.

Infographic: Soul City

Gender Sonke Justice Community, Education and Mobilisation manager Nonhlanhla Skhosana told that there are various reasons for people not reporting gender-based violence.

In the case of domestic violence, women who have been involved in domestic violence often don’t report their cases because they don’t trust the system, especially the police and are afraid of secondary victimisation by police. “Sometimes perpetrators know they can get away with it. When a victim reports a case of domestic violence and abuse, the police sometimes tell them to go back home and try sort out their issues with their partner,” said Nonhlanhla.

With the stigma attached to domestic and sexual violence, victims would often rather not report their cases as they fear being judged and criticised by their families and community. It is difficult to help someone who is in such a situation but there is help for victims of domestic or sexual violence and abuse but more needs to be done and the government really needs to step up!

“There are shelters but sadly, not enough and they are sometimes not conducive for victims especially those of the LBGTIQ+ community,” said Nonhlanhla.

“However, you can SMS *134*334#, which will give you the nearest centre or place of help that you can go to. There are organisations like POWA that people can go to, to get help. Also when reporting your case, you can ask for a Victim Empowerment Officer (an officer that deals with victims of domestic violence),” added Nonhlanhla.

Let us end the culture of silence when it comes to gender-based violence. If you know a perpetrator of gender-based violence, report them, seek advice and help. CALL THEM OUT.

Let us stop enabling abusers and predators of violence.