'He dragged me around the house by the hair with a knife to my throat'

'He dragged me around the house by the hair with a knife to my throat' »Play Video

Hear Christina's story in her own words #LiveOnKMTR at 6:30 and 11 p.m. Thursday

EUGENE, Ore. - Christina remembers the first time her husband abused her.

"Seven months or 8 months after we got together, and it was right before Easter, and he had gotten upset and he left and then he came home and I  didn't want to let him in because I was so mad and he threatened to kick down the door," said "Christina," who asked that her real name not be used for her safety. "

"I finally opened it up," she said, "and he had dragged me around the house by the hair with a knife to my throat telling me that he was going to kill me and that I couldn't leave him or things would get bad."

Christina met her future husband at the apartment complex where her family lived.

"Our first date get together was at his apartment, and we were making hamburgers for the kids and us in the kitchen and everything was fine and great having a great time," she said. "No signs whatsoever."

She had no idea violence would enter her relationship.

For 1 in 4 women, it does at least one in their lifetime, according to WomenSpace.

The warning signs don't come up in the first few months of dating.

Over 6 years, Christina said the violence only happened every so often.

The abuse became a daily event.

"No matter what I did," she said. "It still happened."

A lot.

"109 times in 4 days is extreme," Christina said.

Why don't the victims of domestic leave right away?

"Leaving is actually the most dangerous and deadly time," said Peggy Whalen with WomenSpace. "All of the homocides that happened in November and December, the victim had already left or was in the process of leaving the relationship. They were doing the right thing."

That's one of the reasons Christina couldn't escape right away.

Each day, getting out got harder, especially after she had children with her abuser.

"Comes down to when I do leave and he threatens to kill me and my kids," she said. "He was having people call me that I didn't know and leaving messages on my answering machine telling me he was going to burn the house down. I was thinking, 'If I don't stay, what would happen to me and the kids?'"

Every time she left, he harassed her and violated the restraining order she filed against him.

"Found out where we moved again and started harassing me and stalking me and had people calling me threatening to kill me and burn down my house and I ended up having to quit my job and was basically locked up in my house for three months," she said.

She got help from advocates like the ones at WomenSpace in Eugene.

It's been 3 years since she left.

She hasn't heard from her abuser in a year. The state helped her relocate and cover her tracks.

The damage is done, Christina said. But now she is grateful to be able to move on and build a healthier life free of violence.