Women wear face shields as they sell flowers at a market in Bangkok, Thailand [Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters]

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of a “horrifying global surge” in domestic violence during the coronavirus crisis and urged governments to step up efforts to prevent violence against women.

“We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19. But they can trap women with abusive partners,” Guterres said in a video message posted on Twitter on Sunday. “For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be safest – in their own homes.”

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In some countries, the number of women calling support services has doubled, healthcare providers and police are overwhelmed and understaffed, and local support groups are “paralysed” or short

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