Although domestic violence rates dropped by two-thirds between 1994 and 2005, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the domestic violence epidemic still rages on across the U.S. One in four women will be domestic violence victims during their lifetimes, according to the CDC. Eighty-five percent of abusers are males, according to police reports.

As recently as in 2015 Vice President Joe Biden called domestic violence a “public health epidemic” when he spoke to an audience of some of the country’s preeminent medical, public health and domestic violence experts.

If we’re ever going to bring the epidemic an end, then we must place as many abusers and victims in therapy as possible. Most were badly neglected, abused or abandoned as children and never overcame what they experienced growing up with their parents and family members. Without therapy, many will continue to abuse and be abused. We must break the cycle. Of course, extremely violent abusers must be placed in jail or prison, depending upon the severity of their crime..

Our nation must also do a far better job of educating unsuspecting children, teens and adults from normal, non-abusive families so they can learn what the red flags of abuse are, so they can stay out of abusive relationships and learn how to safely exit abusive relationships.