NEW YORK (PIX11) — By the time we hear about domestic violence, it’s often too late. And in some cases, it’s deadly.

That’s why the NYPD is taking an extra step to raise awareness. On a day of action Thursday, PIX11 News was there as NYPD Chief Melissa Eger and her team handed out important information on the Lower East Side.

It was just one of several initiatives the department has taken on to let domestic violence survivors know that help is available.

“An individual who may not be comfortable speaking to a member of the service in uniform may want to speak with [someone] who is dressed like them or acts like them,” Eger said. 

In all of the city’s police precincts and police service areas, officers are equipped with special training to handle domestic violence cases.

“We always want to train our officers in tactics in any incident, you don’t know what to expect,” Eger said. 

So far this year, reports of domestic violence felony assaults are up 6.8% compared to the same period last year, NYPD data shows.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit PIX11’s domestic violence resources page.