Did you know….?
Up to 3.8 million girls worldwideare affected by breast flattening (UN).
It is also thought that up to 1000 girls in the UKhave been subjected to the practice.
You may have heard of FGM, but a more recent revelation in child abuse terms is the use of breast flattening in certain cultures to stop a child’s breasts from developing at an early age. In fact, in around 58% of cases, the girl’s mother is generally the abuser (Department of Public Health Science).
The following short video gives some information on the practice:
Currently, in the UK, there is no specific law against the practice of breast ironing. There are various campaigns at the moment that are trying to lobby for banning the practice, but there are many people that worry that it will be seen as banning a cultural practice.
Below is a link to an article by Chi Yvonne Leina, a Cameroonian journalist and women’s rights advocate, which tells her story and how she founded Gender Danger, a grassroots women’s organization that is fighting to end the practice of breast ironing in Cameroon:
Take a think on it, what are your opinions on banning the practice…? Do you think it would be classed as banning a cultural practice…? Do you think banning the practice will help to stop it…?
If you do have any concerns about breast flattening or believe someone is a victim of it, you must make sure to refer to your local safeguarding procedures.
Here are some interesting articles that talk about the issue of breast flattening, to give you something more to think about: