09/17/2014 08:27 am ET Updated Sep 17, 2014

Meredith Vieira Opens Up About Why She Stayed In An Abusive Relationship

With so many stories about domestic violence being shared in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal, Meredith Vieira decided to tell her talk show audience about her own abusive relationship, and about why it took her so long to leave her abuser.

Vieira said that she was young when she fell in love with a man whose abuse escalated over time. He began acting more violently towards her and threatening her, saying he could ruin her career. Vieira explained why she stayed, even though she was seemingly a textbook candidate to be able to walk out:

"I was scared of him. I was scared if I tried to leave something worse could happen to me. Part of it was 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 and they are saying this about Ray Rice’s wife, that it takes two to tango. Then there was the night, we shared an apartment, and he threw me into a shower, naked with scalding water and then he threw me outside into the hallway, we lived in an apartment building and I hid in the stairwell for two hours until he came again crying, ‘I promise I won’t do this again.’ 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."

The segment aired on Vieira's Wednesday show.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.