Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), sometimes referred to as cutting, female circumcision or sunna, is a painful and illegal process that involves cutting and removing a girls’ external genitalia. FGM is practiced in areas of Africa, the Middle East and South Asia as well as in countries where migrants from FGM affected communities live – including the UK. FGM is a cultural tradition. There is no medical or religious argument for it to take place. In the UK, FGM is considered child abuse.
Impact of FGM
FGM can have a profound impact on a young girl. Initially, it will cause physical issues such as intense pain, bleeding and can result in infection. Months and years later, it can still impact physically with problems going to the toilet, difficulty having sex or giving birth. As important, however, are the emotional and mental affects, for example, depression, anxiety and loss of confidence.
What you can do
If you feel that you may be under pressure to undergo FGM you can:
- Call the police or speak to an adult that you trust such as a teacher or youth worker.
- Call the NSPCC’s dedicated 24/7 FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550
- Speak to the LB Redbridge Child Protection and Assessment Team on 020 8708 3885 (weekdays) or 020 8708 5897 (evenings and weekends)
- Call Childine free on 0800 1111
Find out more
Below are some websites where you can find out more about FGM.