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By Eun Kyung Kim

Meredith Vieira has opened up about being involved in an abusive relationship when she was younger, explaining that “it’s not so easy to just get away."

Amid ongoing controversy surrounding Ray Rice, Meredith explained just how difficult she found it to leave a former boyfriend who would shove her into walls, as well as abuse her psychologically.

Meredith said she stayed with the man partly out of fear, but she also was driven by guilt.

“Because every time we would have a fight he would then start crying and say, 'I promise I won't do it again' and I would feel like maybe I contributed, somehow, to this,” she said. “And they are saying this about Ray Rice's wife, that it takes two to tango.”

Meredith said the situation escalated one evening when the man threw her naked into a scalding hot shower, and then threw her outside the apartment hallway they lived in.

“I hid in the stairwell for two hours until he came, again, crying, 'I promise I won't do this again,’” she said. “I continued to stay in that relationship until I was offered a job in another state and that's where I felt I had the ability to get away.”

Yet, despite knowing how difficult escaping an abusive relationship can be, Meredith said she would advise her daughter to act differently if ever faced with the same choice.

"If my daughter Lily, who is now 21, was in an abusive relationship, even if she thought she loved this man, I would say go. Just go. We didn't have shelters when this was happening to me, there was no hotline. I would say call the hotline," Meredith explained.

She also described domestic violence as complicated and far more rampant than people realize.

“We all have to accept the fact that it's not just an issue with the NFL, it's an issue with all of our lives and until we take it seriously, more and more women are going to get abused.

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