Newswoman Tamron Hall recently shared with a crowd of 500 people the 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.

"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, according to a news release from the DVCC.

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 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 the 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. She is also highlighting domestic violence and teen dating violence for the "Today" show's "Shine a Light" series this year.

The luncheon raised more than $170,000, which will go toward critical services provided by the agency and will help the DVCC continue its mission to promote the fundamental right of all individuals to be safe in their personal relationships.

The DVCC serves Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Weston.

In fiscal year 2012-13, the DVCC provided legal, counseling, housing, health and economic empowerment services to 3,431 victims of domestic violence and provided shelter to 437 individuals.

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, Safe Houses and housing services, children's services, medical advocacy, professional adult training, multilingual services, PeaceWorks prevention education, a 24-hour hotline and EsperanzaCT, a Spanish language website and 24-hour phone service line.

The DVCC serves Stamford, Norwalk, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Weston.