Lockdowns around the world triggered by the coronavirus pandemic could contribute to millions more cases of gender-based violence, child marriages, female genital mutilation, and unintended pregnancies resulting from lack of access to contraceptives in the months ahead, according to a report released Tuesday by the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency.\u0022Women\u0026#039;s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs. The services must continue; the supplies must be delivered; and the vulnerable must be protected and supported.\u0022—Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPAThe new data (pdf) comes from the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), the global group Avenir Health, Johns Hopkins University in the U.S., and Victoria University in Australia. It follows reporting that, as U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in early April, the world has \u0022seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence\u0022 as communities have shut down.\u0022Projections show that if violence increases by 20% during periods of lockdown,\u0022 UNFPA warns, \u0022there would be an additional 15 million cases of intimate partner violence in 2020 for an average lockdown duration of three months, 31 million cases for an average lockdown of six months, 45 million for an average lockdown of nine months, and 61 million if the average lockdown period were to be as long as one year.\u0022Those projections include all 193 U.N. member states and \u0022account for the high levels of underreporting seen with gender-based violence.\u0022 The report notes that the rising rates of violence against women and girls—who are disproportionately victimized by domestic abusers—during the pandemic will come as resources to provide support, counseling, and post-rape care are strained due to the virus outbreak.Around domestic violence increasing under #lockdown. New @UNFPA data shows 31 million extra cases of #gender-based violence in a 6-month lockdown. Protection efforts must continue https://t.co/6RlektpBr8 #GBV pic.twitter.com/BRR7liN36E— Matt Jackson (@MattJacksonUK) April 28, 2020People across the globe took to social media Tuesday in response to the new domestic violence data, calling the projections \u0022sickening, heartbreaking,\u0022 and \u0022staggering.\u0022 As documentary filmmaker Karoline Pelikan pointed out, \u0022THIS was foreseeable.\u0022In a Devex op-ed highlighted on Twitter by UNFPA, global affairs graduate student and survivor advocate Theresa Puhr wrote last week that \u0022with\u0026nbsp;one in three women\u0026nbsp;globally experiencing violence over their lifetimes, the world was already facing a crisis. Now, COVID-19 is exacerbating the problem.\u0022\u0022The rampant spread of the virus has forced victims to stay at home with their abusers, leaving them with few opportunities to seek shelter or solace,\u0022 Puhr added. \u0022Victims in the world\u0026#039;s poorest countries, especially those with already-existing humanitarian crises, are the most vulnerable. International development organizations must ramp up their efforts to prevent and address domestic violence in order to stop a pandemic of violence from emerging.\u0022Before #COVID19, 1 in 3 women were already experiencing physical or sexual abuse.Now, many of them are trapped at home with their abusers.We must act NOW to support survivors of violence during the #coronavirus outbreak: https://t.co/GBxciQzslDvia @devex— UNFPA (@UNFPA) April 27, 2020Other projections from UNFPA, as a statement from the agency summarized, include:47 million women in 114 low- and middle-income countries may not be able to access modern contraceptives and seven million unintended pregnancies are expected to occur if the lockdown carries on for 6 months and there are major disruptions to health services. For every three months the lockdown continues, up to an additional two million women may be unable to use modern contraceptives.Due to the disruption of programs to prevent female genital mutilation in response to COVID-19, two million female genital mutilation cases may occur over the next decade that could have been averted.COVID-19 will disrupt efforts to end child marriage, potentially resulting in an additional 13 million child marriages taking place between 2020 and 2030 that could otherwise have been averted.\u0022This new data shows the catastrophic impact that COVID-19 could soon have on women and girls globally,\u0022 said UNFPA executive director Dr. Natalia Kanem. \u0022The pandemic is deepening inequalities, and millions more women and girls now risk losing the ability to plan their families and protect their bodies and their health.\u0022Kanem expanded on her comments in an interview with the Guardian:\u0022It\u0026#039;s a calamity. Totally calamitous,\u0022 said Kanem. \u0022It is so clear that COVID-19 is compounding the no longer subterranean disparities that affect millions of women and girls.\u0022She said the pandemic \u0022threatened the gains carefully eked out\u0022 over recent years. \u0022We are very worried indeed.\u0022She said UNFPA teams in the Arab states and east and southern Africa had reported that \u0022people were rushing to marry their daughters\u0022 already, while deaths in childbirth in one east African country had tripled this year.In the UNFPA statement, Kanem emphasized the importance of providing programs for these issues amid the outbreak. As she put it: \u0022Women\u0026#039;s reproductive health and rights must be safeguarded at all costs. The services must continue; the supplies must be delivered; and the vulnerable must be protected and supported.\u0022That call for continuing crucial health services for women and girls was echoed by other individuals and organizations worldwide. \u0022The closing of safe spaces and limited mobility means women are unable to access critical services,\u0022 the International Rescue Committee\u0026#039;s U.K. branch tweeted Tuesday. \u0022Women\u0026#039;s social services are essential and should be prioritized during the pandemic.\u0022Traci Baird, president of the D.C.-based global group EngenderHealth, told the Guardian that the UNFPA had \u0022put numbers to things that we have been discussing for weeks.\u0022 She called for immediate an immediate mobilization and said that those organizations working on these issues must be \u0022prepared to manage and support countries, and partners, and families, in catching up after.\u0022Our CEO @TraciLBaird spoke to @LizFordGuardian about @UNFPA data showing #COVID19’s dangerous impacts on #SRHR, #familyplanning, #GBV, #FGM: “The magnitude of the problem is absolutely enormous and that should motivate and mobilise us to take action now.\u0022 https://t.co/F0NrfI9yYv— EngenderHealth (@EngenderHealth) April 28, 2020\u0022We know what works, we have best practices that have impact,\u0022 said Baird. \u0022We have to do things better and faster and smarter. We don\u0026#039;t have time to do learnings and ramp up phases, or workshops, and meetings. We have to get back to work.\u0022The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and a live chat service is available at www.thehotline.org. Those seeking support can also textLOVEIS to 22522. All services offer 24/7, free, and confidential support.