NBC News correspondent Tamron Hall has opened up about the death of her sister and why her fight against domestic abuse is personal, as part of Today‘s Shine a Light series.
Domestic violence is a pressing issue, and according to Today, three women are killed by a current or former intimate partner each day. These statistics are shocking, and people need to be aware of the struggle that many victims of abuse are going through.
As an initiative to shine some light on the situation, the Shine a Light campaign has been created to raise awareness and ask victims to come forward. Hall has opened up about why this cause is so close to her heart: Her sister was a victim of domestic violence.
Hall’s sister Renate was murdered in Texas in 2004 in a domestic violence case that, officially, is still unsolved.
“I have felt guilty for so long that I didn’t do more to help my sister,” Hall explained. “My father, who died soon after my sister of what my mother believes was a broken heart, said of his children that I was the child who ‘was always for right.’ Yet I have felt so ‘wrong’ since her death.
“My guilt centers around one night at my home in Chicago. My sister was visiting when I heard a commotion downstairs. I rushed to see what had happened, only to find my home torn apart and my sister with a huge, red knot on her face. She was angry, embarrassed and afraid. The other person there told me she ‘fell,’ but I ordered that person to leave immediately as I comforted my sister. The next morning when I went to check on her, I found she had let the person back into my home. I was furious and demanded they both leave. While we eventually reconciled, it wasn’t until we had gone without speaking for months,” she continued.
Hall previously shared her sister’s story during an appearance on the Television Critics Association panel earlier this year, when Philadelphia TV critic Jonathan Storm asked how she manages to split her time between her full-time job at NBC News and investigating and reporting for Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall on ID.
After she shared her sister’s story he insensitively responded with, “That’s all very nice, but can you answer my question?”
However, that comment has only spurred her forward and she is now working harder than ever on her project, with the goal to produce a PSA that can be shown to children in school, at camp, at church and after-school events to show them that love does not have to hurt.