FGM - Female Genital Mutilation
What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?
It's a form of child abuse which is estimated to affect around 140 million girls and women around the world.
FGM is the partial or complete removal of a girl’s external genitals, and is a practice undertaken without any medical supervision or pain relief.
There are no health benefits and the effects on girls and women who have FGM last forever. Girls and women who have had FGM may have problems urinating, menstruating and there may also be issues with childbirth, as well as long lasting psychological effects.
Some use ‘religion’ as an excuse for practicing FGM, but there is nothing in the Bible, the Koran or any other religious text that supports FGM.
FGM is cultural practice which violates a girl’s human rights. It is cruel, inhumane, and is a form of honour based violence as girls are being controlled in order to increase their marriage-ability.
FGM is illegal in the UK and it is also illegal to take a girl out of the country to undergo FGM.
The video on this page shows the story of a 12 year old girl in the UK who struggles between her family's wishes and the facts about FGM.
If you are concerned about yourself, or someone you know
- Call Customer First on 0808 800 4005
- Speak to a teacher or trusted adult
- Speak to a school nurse for support and advice - they offer weekly confidential 'drop-ins' in secondary schools. Send a text to 07507 333356. To find out more see our ChatHealth page
- Speak to a youth worker at 4YP for confidential advice and support. Drop in or call them - visit their website for more details www.4yp.org.uk
- Get online support from Kooth - a free, safe and confidential online service where you can find someone to talk to when you need it. Read more in our Kooth information page or visit their website www.kooth.com
If you have undergone FGM yourself, there are services in Suffolk which can provide support for you. For more information, get in touch with Suffolk Refugee Support.