Meredith Vieira Shares Her #WhyIStayed Story
Meredith Vieira released a segment from her talk show today in which she discusses #WhyIStayed and her own prior abusive relationship. She explained that in her situation, the abuse became gradually more frequent, transformed from threats into physical violence, and made her feel as if she was at fault for it. Most importantly, she dispels some of the myths and stereotypes about women who stay in abusive relationships:
“I’m a smart woman. A lot of people say, ‘Well, who would stay in that situation?’ Somebody who maybe doesn’t have the wherewithal to get out, the means to get out – I had that. I had a job at the time. And I kept in this relationship… 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’d have a fight, he would then start crying, and say ‘I promise I won’t do it again,’ and I’d feel like maybe I contributed, somehow, to this.”
She goes on to explain that it wasn’t until she got a job in a different state that she felt she had the ability to leave the relationship. I’m grateful that Vieira told her story, because it’s hard to call a woman “stupid” for staying in an abusive relationship, or financially dependent, or weak, when she’s been a prominent journalist working in her field for four decades.