Medal-winning Aussie basketballer reveals domestic violence hell at hands of her former partner while pregnant with his child: ‘He strangled me… I couldn’t breathe’
- Professional basketballer Alex Bunton, 28, was a victim of domestic violence
- Former partner attacked her in 2019 when she was pregnant with her daughter
- The athlete went to ACT police and the man was convicted on multiple charges
- They included two counts of assault creating actual bodily harm and choking
- Ms Bunton is encouraging all fellow domestic violence victims to speak up
Decorated Australian basketballer Alex Bunton has bravely opened up about her domestic violence hell while pregnant with her former partner’s child.
In 2018, Bunton, 28, who plays as a forward or centre, was on the podium in Spain with her teammates as they snared a World Cup silver medal.
Twelve months later, she was a broken woman.
‘The people around me have empowered me and helped me remember who I am because for a few years I lost that and lived in a world of regret, shame and negative labels I gave myself,’ Bunton said this week.
‘I am a good person, an amazing mum and friend. It was another world then, something I don’t recognise now. I was a professional athlete, a confident woman, how does that happen?’
Decorated Australian basketballer Alex Bunton has bravely opened up about her domestic violence hell while pregnant with her former partner’s child (pictured, with daughter Opal)
On August 8 in 2019 – while pregnant – Alex Bunton was attacked by her former partner
The single mother went to police in Canberra after documenting her injuries – and her former partner was later convicted on two counts of assault creating actual bodily harm
In April last year, Bunton’s former paertner was convicted in the ACT Magistrates court for two counts of assault creating actual bodily harm.
He was also charged and convicted of one count of intentionally choking, suffocating or strangling.
Bunton and her ex met in Sydney in 2019 and the relationship soon flourished.
However, several red flags appeared within a few months.
They included her former partner constantly reading her phone and telling her to retire from the sport she loved.
Niggling injuries also didn’t help Bunton’s mindset and then on August 8 in 2019, her world changed forever.
‘He pushed me down and strangled me to the point I almost lost consciousness,’ she told the Daily Telegraph.
‘He hit me pretty hard…I was saying I couldn’t breathe, I was crying. He asked why I was crying, pretending nothing had happened.’
Bunton then took photographic evidence of her injuries and went to the police.
Her former partner had attacked her when she was pregnant.
In March last year, Bunton gave birth to a daughter, Opal, named after the women’s national team.
The mother and daughter are now thriving – and Bunton also had a message for fellow domestic violence victims – seek help to avoid becoming a statistic.
Alarmingly, more than a quarter of women aged under 50 globally have experienced domestic violence by a male partner in their lifetime, according to a recent study published in The Lancet.
The doting mother also had a message for fellow domestic violence victims – seek help to avoid being a statistic
The study revealed 27 per cent of women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime.
Around one in seven (13 per cent) said this occurred in the last 12 months – the equivalent of 492 million women worldwide.
The researchers said the true prevalence is likely to be higher than the estimates, given the stigma around domestic violence which may make women less likely to report their experiences.
Confidential information, counselling and support is available from the National Sexual Assault, Family and Domestic Violence Counselling Line.
Phone 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – who are open 24 hours to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.