It is estimated that 137,000 girls and women in England and Waleshave been affected by FGM, according to the NSPCC.
On 31 October 2015 The Serious Crime Act 2015 introduced a new duty for regulated health, social care and teaching professionals to report cases of FGM when identified in a girl under 18 years old (https://www.rcn.org.uk/clinical-topics/female-genital-mutilation) – so if you are working in the HSC sector, or would like to in the future, you need to be aware of just what FGM is and what to do to report it.
What is female genital mutilation (FGM)?
FGM refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons.
Currently, it is illegal in the UK to perform FGM, or to take a child outside of the UK to perform FGM, but many people think that there should still be more awareness of the issue and are lobbying for campaigns to teach both adults and children about the risks and signs of FGM.
One woman has recently been made the first person to be found guilty of carrying out FGM and will be sentenced in March. Find out more, in a BBC article here: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-47094707
Every year, February 6thmarks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, so there are a lot of useful links and articles on FGM at the moment, here are a few for you to look at:
Hibo Wardere, my story
Hibo Wardere a Somali-born campaigner against female genital mutilation who moved to London as a teenager in 1989, fleeing from the Somali Civil War. At the age of six, she was the victim of FGM, an event she has described as “being engulfed in pain from head to toe”.