A woman woke up in horror as her footballer boyfriend began punching her and pulling her hair.
For mum-of-two Danielle Thomas, now 35, being beaten up in the middle of the night was only the beginning of Reece Thompson's reign of terror.
Any attempt Danielle made to break off the relationship ended in violence and her feeling trapped until the 27-year-old thug decided he needed to teach her a lesson on September 12, 2018.
Trapping her at home, Thompson struck his girlfriend with an iron bar, broke her jaw, and made her lick fresh paint off the floor during three days of torture.
He was jailed for 40 months and handed a 10-year restraining order from the mother who still suffers from PTSD after the incident, LincolnshireLive reports.
Thompson from Bircotes, Nottinghamshire was released in January 2020 but was recalled to jail the following month for tweets about his conviction and speaking about the case to a national news website.
Three years on from the awful abuse, Danielle is helping other survivors as a volunteer at a local women's centre despite her own ongoing struggle with complex PTSD and personality disorder.
Danielle, mum to Lielarni, 15, and Ella, 11, is also looking to set up a campsite in South Yorkshire for families that have been through domestic abuse.
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She said: "I was in a relationship with who I thought was a great guy.
"Unfortunately not long into the relationship, violence and control started.
"To begin with he would check my phone and stared discouraging me from going out to see friends and taking part in my hobbies.
"Then one night, out of nowhere, I was sleeping and was woken up by him being on top of me, punching me, and pulling my hair.
"He had been going through my phone and looking at old Facebook messages.
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"He found a very old innocent message from another guy and this sparked his violent outburst."
Danielle said that on the night of September 12, 2018, things took a very bad turn for the worse.
She said: "He decided I needed to be taught a lesson.
"He locked me in my home for three days and tortured me. He repeatedly beat me, tipped paint all over me, and made me lick it off the floor."
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She went on: "He smashed mirrors over my head, rubbed glass into me, and brutally beat me with an iron bar.
"I was left with a broken jaw, broken ribs, and extreme bruising.
"He even made my daughter Ella watch on the first night – it traumatised her."
Danielle is fundraising for a project called The Dragonfly and Humming Bird which is a free campsite in South Yorkshire that offers a safe, relaxing, educational environment for domestic abuse survivors and their families.
If you have been affected by issues of domestic violence or coercive control you can call Refuge's 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline for free. The number is 0808 2000 247
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