22 February 2023

For Alex Bunton, the WNBL Domestic Violence Awareness round is personal

| Tim Gavel
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Alex Bunton. Photo: Tim Gavel.

Alex Bunton: “(Domestic violence) is such a taboo subject because of the stigma that society has created for it.” Photo: Tim Gavel.

UC Capitals forward Alex Bunton emerged from the horror of domestic violence emboldened, with the strength and courage to be a leading force in creating positive change.

Alex revealed last year the emotional and physical terror that had consumed her life at the hands of her then-partner. At the time, she was pregnant with her daughter, Opal.

The first step, it would appear, was the hardest.

“I think I brought myself to a place where I knew that I had to be transparent and I was in a position where I was emotionally and mentally okay with sharing my story,” says Alex.

She speaks with heart-filled passion about the importance of raising awareness, not just for the survivors but for their support network as well.

“It wasn’t hard for me to realise that the situation I was in was going to help so many more people, not just myself, so it was an easy option for me,” she explains.

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This is why the UC Capitals had no hesitation in declaring their desire for a WNBL Domestic Violence Awareness round as part of the WNBL’s Player Initiative Rounds.

Says Alex, “The Caps approached us as a team, first to decide on something that we want to really shed some light on. I’m a domestic violence victim survivor. Domestic violence is personal for me.”

So the UC Capitals will play the Perth Lynx on 4 March at the National Convention Centre Canberra in the DV Awareness round.

In terms of raising awareness, there has been a perception that Alex has been a lone voice on the subject in women’s sport, not just basketball.

“It’s such a taboo subject because of the stigma that society has created for it, so it’s going to be amazing to have a different story this time and from a different voice. It’s not just my voice but also my team’s and the Caps as an organisation. And hopefully, the WNBL will jump on board with it.”

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Alex has been through plenty on and off the court. She’s a star player, a member of the silver medal-winning Australian 2018 World Cup team, she’s had 11 knee reconstructions, and she’s a powerful advocate for domestic violence victims.

That desire to help others has given her purpose, with basketball a high-profile pulpit from which to raise awareness.

female basketball players with police officer

Britt Smart, Alex Bunton, acting Inspector Mark Wilson and Jade Melbourne at the UC Capitals launch of the Domestic Violence Awareness Round. Photo: Tim Gavel.

Alex is thankful to be supported in this journey by the UC Capitals.

“They are like family to me, my basketball family, so to be able to have this support and help network behind me is just amazing because it’s a very hard place to be when you’re alone. Basketball has helped me out of this. To have women around me who are fighting, not just for me but for everybody else, is a beautiful thing.”

The sporting community should be grateful to have the likes of Alex Bunton in their midst.

The UC Capitals play the Perth Lynx at the NCCC on 4 March. Tickets are available from Ticketek.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Help Line, 1800 RESPECT, or 1800 737 732. If someone is in immediate danger, call 000.

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