FGM is also known as female genital cutting or female circumcision, it involves the removal of the external parts of the genitals for reasons with absolutely no basis in fact or evidence.
Some people claim FGM is necessary for hygiene or religious reasons but this is not true.
- Around the globe, 130 million girls and women have undergone FGM.
- In Africa 101 million girls aged 10 and over have been subjected to FGM.
- In the UK it’s estimated that 65,000 girls are at risk each year.
Often girls are taken out of the UK during school holidays for the procedure to be carried out, giving them time to heal and ensure that it goes unnoticed. This often happens during the summer holidays; a time often referred to as the 'cutting season'.
FGM is often done with no anaesthetic and using unsterilized equipment. As well as experiencing significant pain and trauma at the time (some girls die during the procedure) it can also cause issues in future including problems having sex and giving birth.
FGM is illegal in the UK. It’s also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM or to help someone trying to do this.
The maximum sentence for carrying out FGM or helping it to take place is 14 years in prison.
Forward are the leading UK FGM charity. You can visit their website by clicking below.
You can read about the law on FGM at www.gov.uk/female-genital-mutilation
From 31 October 2015, all nurses, doctors, teachers and social workers have a duty to report FGM/suspeted FGM on a child under 18.
Cambridgeshire Local Safeguarding Children Board have produced a FGM resource pack for professionals - you can download this from the Professionals section of this site