The growing so-called “shadow pandemic” or “hidden pandemic” invites us to sound the alarm and calls us to think carefully about the roots of this phenomenon. COVID 19 pandemic has been accompanied by a ‘shadow pandemic’ as dangerous as the virus, and it is the increasing domestic violence during the quarntine.
COVID 19 has created a fertile environment for the escalation of violence, especially with the increasingly deteriorating economic situation, jobs losses, the feeling of uncertainty towards the future and the psychological pressure that everyone is passing through due to this pandemic. In light of the precautionary measures imposed to reduce the spread of the Corona virus, it became obligatory for women to stay with abusive husbands or family members for long periods, unable to receive psychological support from friends, relatives or concerned institutions.
The phenomenon is global. The number of women and girls between the ages of 18 and 49 years who have experienced sexual or physical violence committed by a partner in the past twelve months is estimated to be around 243 million women and girls worldwide. According to a UNFPA study, if the closure lasts for 6 months, an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence can be expected. 61 million cases can be expected if the average closing period is one year. France witnessed a 30% increase in reporting cases.According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States of America, 1 in 3 women and 1 in every 4 men in the United States experience violence from a partner in their lifetime. In Britain, “Refuge”, UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, reported a 700% increase in calls to its Helpline in one day. In South Africa, calls to Vodacom Foundation’s Gender Based Violence Command Centre have increased by 65% since the lockdown.  In Turkey, 29 women were killed during the month of March, with a further nine whose deaths were recorded as suspicious. In France, the rate of increase in family violence since the start of the lockdown procedures on March 17 is 30%. In Argentina, the increase in complaints of domestic violence since the start of the lockdown procedures on March 20 is around 25%. In Cyprus and Singapore, complaints of domestic violence rose by 30 and 33 percent, respectively. 
Arab countries are even more vulnerable due to the presence of conflicts, weak health care, unemployment, inflammation of prices and the destruction of infrastructure. These factors constitute a fertile ground for the increase in economic crises and thus the increase in psychological crises and family violence. In Tunisia, for example, 6,693 calls were recorded on the (Green Line 1899) until May 3, 2020 distributed as follows: (1347 physical violence, 1462 psychological violence, 329 sexual violence, 763 economic violence, 15 institutional violence, 1624 verbal violence), along with 448 notices of threatened children and 38 notices of threatened elderly people. 
The continuation of this pandemic may undermine the efforts to achieve gender equality. According to a UNFPA study, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause a drop in progress towards ending gender-based violence by 2030 by a third. The pandemic is also expected to disrupt efforts to end female genital mutilation. Researchers had expected that expanding the scope of FGM prevention programs over the next ten years would mean reducing the number of girls subject to FGM by 5.3 million. However, this number is expected to decrease by a third after the pandemic. The disruption of child marriage prevention programs after the pandemic will further marry an additional 13 million children over the next decade. 
The increasing psychological and physical violence against women during the Corona pandemic has caused the Secretary-General of the United Nations to issue a statement calling on governments to “put women’s safety first when responding to the pandemic.” With the development of today’s technology and the tendency of countries to use a number of applications to facilitate people’s actions, the Coalition of women MPs from Arab countries to Combat Violence against Women urges its partners in civil society organizations to lead awareness campaigns to address the effects of this pandemic, calls on governments to allocate hotlines for reporting cases of violence, and urges governments to include in their plans to address the Corona pandemic another plan to address DV. The Coalition also declares its commitment to move forward in working with all stakeholders to change laws and legislation to increase the penalty for perpetrators of violence, and declares its commitment to intensify its oversight efforts to urge governments to provide all means of protection against violence. While the coalition condemns this violence, which increased in proportion during this critical period ( the quarantine period), the coalition calls on all Arab countries to use the Model Law to Protect Women from Domestic Violence which was drafted by the coalition, and urges all states to expedite the adoption of the Arab Convention to Combat Violence against Women and Girls and Domestic Violence that the coalition has developed in cooperation with the League of Arab States.