In light of the Ray Rice controversy, Meredith Vieira took a few minutes on her new talk show to share her own account of an abusive relationship with a former boyfriend.
Vieira prefaced her story with a shocking statistic: “Every nine seconds, a woman is abused or assaulted in this country.” Motivated by the Twitter hashtag trends #whyIstayed and #whyIleft — confessions from women who have been in abusive relationships — Vieira opened up about her personal history.
As someone who experienced domestic violence, Vieira understands that the issue is not black and white; it’s very complicated. There are many reasons why a woman would stay in the relationship. Vieira was driven by fear and guilt.
I kept in this relationship, and I’ve done a lot of thinking about why, and I think part of it was fear. I was scared of him and scared if I tried to leave, something worse could happen to me. Part of it was guilt because every time we would have a fight he would then start crying and say, ‘I promise I won’t do it again,’ and I would feel like maybe I contributed, somehow, to this.”
One of Vieira’s most vivid memories was the night her abuser threw her naked into a scalding hot shower and then threw her outside their apartment hallway. She hid in the stairwell for two hours until he came to her, crying and promising that he would not do it again. It wasn’t until she was offered a job in another state that she believed she could escape.
Even though she stayed, Vieira would advise her 21-year-old daughter to get out immediately if she was ever in that situation.
I would say go. Just go. We didn’t have shelters when this was happening to me, there was no hotline. I would say call the hotline.”
I’m so glad Meredith is using her TV platform to raise awareness for this terrible issue.
If you are affected by domestic violence, please visit this website to find out how you can get out.
– xo, A