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Tamron Hall Speaks At DVCC’s 12th Annual Voices Of Courage Luncheon

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Passionate, candid and, at times, emotional, newswoman Tamron Hall recently shared with a crowd of 500 people the very personal story that led her to advocate for greater awareness about domestic violence. Hall, a co-host of NBC’s TODAY show and host of MSNBC’s NewsNation, was the keynote speaker and honoree at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center’s 12th annual Voices of Courage Spring Luncheon on May 1st at the Stamford Marriott Hotel.

“This journey of mine is fueled by guilt, to be honest with you,” Hall said after telling the story of her sister’s tragic death, widely believed to be the result of domestic violence, and voicing her belief that she could have done more to help her sister, Renate. In 2004 Renate was found face down in her swimming pool with blunt force trauma to the back of her head and torn fingernails. Police ruled her death a homicide, but were not able to make a case against the suspected killer.

Frustrated that her sister kept returning to what was clearly an abusive relationship, Hall said she finally gave up trying to help her, but now realizes that was a mistake.

“I wasn’t smart enough; brave enough….all I know is I failed her. I should have kept calling every day. I could have and I should have.”

Hall said she supports organizations such as DVCC because they have been on the front lines of addressing domestic violence and assisting victims for years, and it is one way for her to learn and to give back. As well, she is highlighting domestic violence and teen dating violence for the TODAY show’s “Shine a Light” series this year.

“I speak at events like this because I am in the presence of women and men who’ve been dedicated to this for 30 years,” she said. “I have so much to learn from this organization, from all of you, who have been tireless when I have been tired, who have been vocal when I have stood silent, who have been brave when I was a coward.”

Hall applauded DVCC, not only for providing services and raising awareness, but also for going further by actively influencing legislation that has resulted in better laws and positive systems change statewide for those impacted by domestic violence.

During the two-hour luncheon program, DVCC introduced two new videos: “Crisis Chronicles”, which speaks to the impact of domestic violence across the seven communities it serves and “A Love Letter”, which highlights The Mark Nickel Fund for Wilton Families Impacted by Domestic Violence, a fund created by former Wilton resident Marjory Nickel in memory of her son, Mark.

The luncheon raised over $170,000, which will go towards critical services provided by the agency and will help DVCC continue its mission to promote the fundamental right of all individuals to be safe in their personal relationships. With a professional staff of 45 people who have years of experience and advocacy in the field of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, the agency offers confidential services at no charge, including court and legal services, group and individual counseling, SafeHouses and housing services, children’s services, medical advocacy, professional adult trainings, multilingual services, PeaceWorks prevention education, a 24-hour hotline (1-888-774-2900) and EsperanzaCT, a Spanish language website and 24-hour phone service line. DVCC is the only domestic violence agency serving the communities of Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Weston.

In fiscal year 2012 – 2013, DVCC provided legal, counseling, housing, health, and economic empowerment services to 3,431 unduplicated victims of domestic violence and provided shelter to 437 individuals. PeaceWorks, the violence prevention platform of the DVCC, reached 21,000 young people through its in-school programs, PeaceWorkSHOPS afterschool programs and Teen PeaceWorks.

Domestic Violence Crisis Center                                                   Contact:   Kathy Lake

777 Summer Street                                                                      Media Relations Advocate

Stamford, CT 06901                                                                    Phone: (203) 588-9100

(203) 588-9100                                                                            Email: klake@dvccct.org

www.dvccct.org, www.esperanzact.org