FGM is a procedure carried out on young girls between the ages of infancy and 15 years of age. Female Genital Mutilation is classified as a form of Child Abuse in the UK. It therefore makes the procedure of it a serious Child Protection issue.
It is illegal for anyone to perform FGM in the UK or to arrange for a child to be transported to another country for the procedure. The maximum sentence for carrying out FGM or helping it to take place is 14 years in prison.
From the 31st October 2015, it is the statutory duty of teachers (and other professionals) to report FGM to the Police if we become aware that a child (i.e. someone under the age of 18) has undergone FGM.
There is lots of information and support available online for parents/carers concerned about this subject or if you know someone who is at risk:
Contact the police
Contact thePolice if you think that a girl or young woman is in danger of FGM and is still in the UK.
Contact the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (020 7008 1500) if she’s already been taken abroad.
Daughters of Eve
The Daughters of Eve website helps to raise awareness of this issue and sign-posts those affected by it to supportive services: www.dofeve.org
The NSPCC has detailed advice on how to spot the signs, symptoms and effects of FGM and provides support for people who are concerned about a child or who have been affected themselves:
TheNSPCC offers a free and anonymous FGM 24 hour helpline. Call the FGM helpline if you’re worried a child is at risk of, or has had, FGM. Call them on 0800 028 3550, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Everybody’s Business is a new website launched by young people to educate their peers about FGM and what they can do to stop it.