We’ve written about Tamron Hall discussing the domestic violence that ultimately took her sister Renate’s life before. What we haven’t discussed is how witnessing her sister endure such a tragedy has affected Tamron’s own life.
In a recent interview with People, Hall recounts the day she witnessed the affects of one of her sister’s abusive relationships. Tamron was upstairs, in her own home, when she heard a scuffle downstairs. When she got down there, she saw that the room had been torn up and his sister was bruised. She asked the man to leave. He did and she started asking her sister why she stayed in this situation.
“I said to her, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ ‘You’re too beautiful. Too smart. You can do better.’ All the things I’ve learned now are wrong [from domestic abuse advocates], I did them all.”
After research and her advocacy with other domestic violence programs like Safe Horizon and Day One, Hall has learned that the best thing to do when you learn that someone is in this type of relationship is to not judge them for staying, but point them in the direction of people, support groups and organizations that can actually help.
Renate continued the relationship with that abusive man.
Sadly, in 2004, Renate was found bludgeoned to death, floating face down in a backyard pool of her home in Houston, Texas. The man she was dating, was later named the only person of interest in the investigation of her murder. But there was a lack of evidence; and as a result, no arrests were made and the case is still an unresolved homicide.
While Hall has said that she’s felt guilt over her sister’s death, wondering if she had done enough, she’s also used the tragedy and her platform as a way to help others. “I’ve been given an opportunity to make a difference.”
While Hall recognizes the impact she can have now, there was a time when she felt it might not have been her place to do so. “For a long time I was hesitant about sharing our story. I didn’t want to be another well-known person saying, ‘Look what happened to me and my family.’ But then I said, screw that. I can save a life.’”
And while Tamron has used her sister’s story to inspire others, Renate’s tragic fate still greatly influences her personal life in both positive and negative ways.
“It hasn’t shaped my life, but it’s given me courage I didn’t know I had.”
It’s also affected her romantic life.
“I’ve been engaged a couple times. I never bought a dress, but I was close, in Vegas and another time in Cozumel. I chickened out both times. Thank God no one was abusive, but [my sister’s situation] makes me cautious.”
Even more than her sister’s death, there are other elements that have kept her from tying the knot. “I have an incredible phobia of divorce.” People also said the demands of her career have also kept her from settling down. Hall says, “I’m sad about it some days.”
“I know it’s rare to have a single woman on morning TV who doesn’t have a child, and I’m Black! But I love my job.”
But don’t take that to mean that she’s given up.
“I date, don’t get me wrong. I’m not up here filing my fingernails on a Friday night. I want to find someone to share my life with.”
She also wants a child.
“I’ve not given up having a child. But I hope whatever route of parenthood I choose, whether it’s adoption or I’m able to conceive, I just hope that I’m able to give someone as beautiful a life as my parents gave me.”