"We know lockdowns and quarantines are essential to suppressing COVID-19. But they can trap women with abusive partners.
"Over the past weeks as economic and social pressures and fear have grown, we have seen a horrifying global surge in domestic violence. In some countries, the number of women calling support services has doubled," the UN chief said in an address released on Twitter.
Guterres urged governments to address the problem of domestic violence and increase investments to online services and civil society organisations, as well as to ensure that judicial systems prosecute abusers.
"For many women and girls the threat looms largest where they should be safest – in their own homes," the UN chief stressed.
Research results released by the Financial Times on Saturday show that more than a dozen Chinese cities have reported a surge in divorce filings since March, when marriage registration agencies reopened in China.
According to the Financial Times, an increase in domestic abuse during the coronavirus outbreak could partly account for increased divorce rates. In Qianjiang county (Hubei Province), 83 domestic abuse cases were reported in February, compared with 47 cases in the same month a year ago, according to police data cited by the Financial Times.
According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus count, more than 1.2 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed globally. Over 69,000 deaths from COVID-19 have been registered, while more than 260,000 people have recovered.