• KIVILCIM PINAR/Getty

    Children who witness domestic violence in the home often believe that they are to blame, live in a constant state of fear, and are 15 times more likely to be victims of child abuse. In the following stories, readers remember witnessing violence in their childhood homes.

    I heard my parents fight. I heard screaming and yelling, usually about money, or some imagined offense by my mother. Then eventually I started hearing slapping noises. And one night when I was at a sleepover, my dad lost it and almost shot my mother in front of my 3-year-old sister. She's what stopped him ... she hugged him and said, “I love you.’ My mom left him after that, but the abuse continued.

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  • Domestic violence affects many, but we rarely talk about it. (Linnéa Andersson Rodén/Flickr, via Getty)

    Your Turn

    Seeking Reader Stories About Domestic Abuse

    With Nigella Lawson’s run-in with domestic abuse in the news this week, The Daily Beast seeks your voice. Submit a short story of how you’ve encountered domestic abuse.

    You read about it in the news, you see the reports on television, but rarely do you share your side of domestic abuse. For a new project, editors of The Daily Beast want you to hear your story about domestic abuse in your life. We’ll then publish the most compelling submissions on the website at a later date. (Note: these will be anonymous—unless you tell us otherwise.)

    Victimization by violence induces shame, trauma, and unhappiness. These are often the most private and internalized of feelings. The very personal nature of domestic abuse only amplifies this truth. Sharing the horror of such nightmares takes enormous courage and can help destigmatize these awful experiences and change lives for the better.

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  • Lisa Maree Williams/Getty

    QUICK THINKING

    How to Handle Domestic Abuse

    Steps to take if you witness an assault.

    What would you do if you saw someone being beaten in public? English celebrity chef Nigella Lawson became the latest high-profile domestic-abuse victim when her husband, Charles Saatchi, was spotted strangling her at a London restaurant. Experts advise that if you see something awry, you should say something to authorities—or at the very least, make a noise to cause a distraction. If you can, take a photo (which is what happened with Saatchi). Experts say to avoid getting in the middle of an argument, because it could be dangerous for the abused or even you. Most important, call 911 as soon as possible.

    Read it at Glamour
  • Domestic violence survivor Muriel Raggi with her dog Jasmine. (Urban Resource Institute)

    PAWS & PEACE

    Pets, Abuse Survivors Sheltered Together

    First program in NYC to house victims with their animals.

    Perhaps the most love that domestic-abuse victims get is from their pets—yet there are few nationwide shelters that allow them to live together. Now the Urban Resource Institute will launch New York City’s first-ever shelter to house both abuse survivors and their pets. As many as 40 percent of people suffering in an abusive situation put off leaving because they are concerned about their pets’ safety. The NYC pilot program, called People and Animals Living Safely (PALS), is set to run for six months beginning June 1. Here’s to hoping these survivors find comfort and safety—with Fido or Fluffy securely at their sides.

    Read it at Urban Resource Institute