Mum who endured eight years of abuse at hands of boyfriend wrote goodbye letters to toddler

This video contains distressing images
  • Video report by ITV Wales reporter, Kate Lewis

Warning: Article contains details some readers may find distressing

A woman who endured eight years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of her former boyfriend said she thought he would eventually kill her.

Jessica Tasker, 24, was beaten so badly by her now ex-partner and father of her child, Thomas Parry, 29, from Bridgend, that she now faces years of recovery from the abuse.

In March this year Parry was sentenced to four and a half years in prison with half to be served on licence.

Jessica is now speaking out about her trauma to raise awareness about domestic abuse and to help others.

Jessica said she thought he was going to kill her

The controlling behaviour began after meeting Parry when she was just 15.

"He didn't like me wearing makeup to school, he wouldn't let me speak to any male friends, and he didn't like me going out with my own friends," she said.

"He'd punch the back of my head, he'd pull my hair out stuff like that. He'd grab my jaw and push it into the ground but he'd never actually hit me in the face."

Graphic photos of her injuries show Jessica's legs, arms and back covered in bruises.

Jessica's legs, arms and back covered in bruises

"He was clever, he knew not to leave a mark on my face or stuff like that so he'd hit my body," she said.

Jessica described how she set up an email address and wrote letters to her child for them to find if Parry ended up killing her. "I deleted it all because I knew as soon as Thomas came back he’d check my phone - all my messages and photographs.”

But in August last year, Jessica was beaten so badly she says she thought she was going to die.

"He came up to me on the sofa and started strangling me," she said.

"He started going on top of me and strangling me until I started to black out and then when I passed out, he grabbed my hair and started smashing my head side to side on the sofa."

The following day he proposed to Jessica before later that day attacking her again.

"He came over to me and started stamping on me and spitting on me, stuff like that. He was pouring juice on me and kept spitting on me."

"He tried to dehumanise me in every way he could" Jessica said.

Jessica said she now needs surgery on her jaw from where he pushed her into the floor, in addition to prolonged issues with her legs including weakness from the beatings.

She says she finally found the courage to get away after realising she would never be free of the abuse unless she made a run from her home.

Jessica said: “We were all in the flat and I somehow got the courage and made a run for it when he wasn't looking through the front door and out into the street.”She showed the pictures to members of his family before sending pictures to her mum, who insisted the police get involved.“As I told the police what I’d been through I could see one of the officers tear up - that’s how bad my injuries were," she said.

Thomas Parry, 29, was sentenced to four an a half years in prison

On top of being left with physical injuries, Jessica also has complex PTSD.

"The emotional abuse is actually worse that the physical. When you see the photos you think that's the worse part, but to me, what he's done to me mentally is actually much worse," she said.

"I just feel broken, some days I feel okay and I think I'm free now, I'm better now but other days I just start crying because it just replays in my mind.

"When you're in that position and you mentally feel like you physically can't leave.

"You feel so worn and broken down but it's not as scary as it seems, because when you're with someone like that you feel so afraid to leave of what they might do or say or anything about you, but I've realised now I do have a voice and i do deserve better."

Jessica hopes by telling her story, others may be encouraged to seek help.

She explained: "At the beginning I kept everything anonymous and I was scared but I thought maybe I could help another person to see what’s happened to me that maybe it’s a sign or get a push to think about leaving."

If you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse you can visit: