†From most perspectives, an increase in domestic violence reports year over year is very discouraging. But if there is one positive justification in the growing statistics, it might be this: More people are getting help. Thatís due to a rising awareness. And we all have a role in making sure that it continues. Last week, the Division of Criminal Justice Services reported 54,848 domestic violence victims outside New York City in 2012, up more than 1,700, or 3 percent, from the year before. State officials said that the increase in police reports may reflect an ongoing push for victims to contact authorities. One factor cited by state officials that might have affected the numbers is more enforcement of a 2010 state law making strangulation a separate offense. Statewide, reported incidents rose 11 percent last year. So what can you do? Continue to build and raise awareness to domestic violence. - Talk to your children about relationships and make sure they know the early signs of abuse. Tell them never to hesitate to seek help. - Support programs aimed at fighting physical and mental domestic abuse. Teach young children how to better cope with anger and aggression so it doesnít some day take the form of abuse. - Speak up. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and others should watch for signs that could indicate that something is wrong. Encourage victims to get help and offer support. - Finally, get help. Victims ó most often women ó are too often reluctant to report abuse because they either fear the abuser or are dependent on him. Many victims who do file charges eventually drop them for those same reasons. Donít. Abusers rarely change their ways, and the abuse will likely only get worse.