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As part of the TODAY show’s Shine a Light campaign, host Tamron Hall sat down with seven women, all domestic abuse survivors, and asked them to share their stories. You can watch the moving interview for yourself here.
“He wanted me to wear bigger clothes than my natural size. At the time, I thought, ‘Oh, he just doesn’t want any other men looking at me,’” says a survivor named Rayna.
“He duct taped me. He duct taped my mouth, my eyes, my arms and my legs,” says another survivor. “I thought I was going to die. I thought he was going to kill me.”
“Why’d you go back?” asks Hall.
The woman shakes her head. “I loved him.”
“We resist from calling them victims. They are survivors,”Hall tells her TODAY show cohosts after the piece airs. Then, you can see Hall fight back tears.
The issue of domestic violence touches far too close to home for Hall. Her sister, Renate, was once a victim of domestic violence. Hall says feels guilt because she didn’t know what to do when she found out.
When she first discovered her sister was being abused, she confronted her, telling her sister she had to leave her abusive partner. But the next day, her sister was back with her abuser and Hall admits it created a riff in their relationship. She didn’t speak to her sister for months.
In 2004, her sister died under suspicious circumstances. Hall revealed in an interview that her sister’s body was found in a swimming pool, and that she had extensive bruising, her hair was ripped from her scalp and most of her fingernails were gone. Yet, the cause of death was never officially determined. 
“How do we save a life?” Hall asks on TODAY. “Let them know they’re not alone.”
Also, she says, it’s important to educate young people about domestic violence. She began an online fundraiser for Day One, a New York organization aimed at preventing dating abuse and domestic violence among people under 24.
“We are very proud of our longstanding relationship with Tamron Hall and we are honored that she has selected Day One as the beneficiary of her campaign,” says Day One Executive Director Stephanie Nilva. “Her campaign has raised more than $41,000, which will enable Day One to support survivor advocacy projects. Young survivors of dating violence act as advocates on behalf of our clients, conducting court accompaniment, and join us in classrooms to speak about their experiences in preventive workshops.”
To learn more about or donate to Hall’s campaign, go to crowdrise.com/tamron.
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