FGM – vital steps forward are being taken, but attitudes need to change
FGM, or Female Genital Mutilation is a huge international problem that affects millions of girls and women yearly. However, did you know that 137,000 women and girls are affected by FGM in England and Wales? This statistic is shocking and unacceptable. There were 4,495 newly recorded cases of women and girls who had undergone FGM in the period April 2017 to March 2018 alone.
Recently, a man and woman were charged with female genital mutilation of a three-year-old girl. This is terrible and it is a good thing that those complicit in FGM are now being charged for the horrendous act. This case is the third attempted prosecution for FGM in the UK, but there has never been a successful prosecution, which is unacceptable.
Five new cases have been reported in the area of Dorset – the fact that FGM is on the rise in the UK is completely unacceptable. We at JAN Trust are hoping that the fact that FGM is ‘on the rise’ is due to the fact that the previously taboo issue is now being spoken about more easily, therefore the statistics may show not ‘new’ cases but cases that are now being spoken about in the open due to a change in attitude in communities where it is most practiced.
A girl or woman who has been subjected to FGM will likely suffer the consequences of it for the rest of her life. FGM can lead to infections, increased risk of HIV and AIDS, cysts and neuromas, infertility, complications in childbirth, psychosexual problems, and trauma. These reasons alone show why FGM is so inhumane .
FGM has been illegal in the UK for over 30 years, however since 2003 it has also been illegal for UK citizens to take their child abroad to have FGM.
Please call 0208 889 9433 or email [email protected] if you are a school that is interested in inviting experts such as ourselves to speak on the topic of FGM. We offer workshops in schools, colleges, community groups and statutory agencies. These workshops aim to raise awareness of how to detect cases of FGM, as well as offer advice on how to support victims. In the last 5 years, we have delivered over4200 school sessions. We have worked with over, working with 40,000 young people and practitioners across the UK and have worked in over 29 boroughs. See how you can help us continue this vital work here https://jantrust.org/project/against-fgm/ .
If you are worried about this issue in any way, please call the NSPCC helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email [email protected].