Sacred bodies FGM project -Quick Info

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons.

FGM is sometimes known as ‘female genital cutting’ or female circumcision. Communities tend to use local names for referring to this practice, including ‘sunna’. FGM is considered a grave violation of the rights of girls and women.

FGM Affects Girls and Women in the UK.

 

It is estimated that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 in the UK are at risk of FGM each year. UK communities that are most at risk of FGM include Kenyan, Somali, Sudanese, Sierra Leonean, Egyptian, Nigerian and Eritrean. Non-African communities that practice FGM include Yemeni, Afghani, Kurdish, Indonesian and Pakistani.

 

FGM is illegal in the UK

 

Under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 it is an offence in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for anyone (regardless of their nationality and residence status) to:

  • perform FGM in the UK;

  • assist the carrying out of FGM in the UK;

  • assist a girl to carry out FGM on herself in the UK;

  •  assist from the UK a non-UK person to carry out FGM outside the UK on a UK national or permanent UK resident.

 

It is also an offence for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to:

  • perform FGM on any person overseas;

  • assist FGM carried out abroad by a UK national or permanent UK resident – this would cover taking a girl abroad to be subjected to FGM;

  • assist a girl to perform FGM on herself outside the UK; and

  • assist FGM carried out abroad by a non- UK person on a girl/woman who is UK national or permanent UK resident – this would cover taking a girl abroad to be subjected to FGM;  even in countries where the practice is not a criminal offence.

 

Any person found guilty of an offence under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 will be liable to a maximum penalty of 14 years’ imprisonment or a fine or both.

 

FGM is child abuse

 

Whilst FGM is often seen as an act of love, rather then cruelty, it causes significant harm and constitutes physical and emotional abuse. FGM is considered to be child abuse in the UK and is a violation of the child’s right to life, their bodily integrity as well as of their right to health.

 

FGM can kill

 

FGM can have serious consequences for a woman’s health and in some instances can lead to death. Infections, severe pain, bleeding and tetanus are just some of the short-term consequences. In the long term women can suffer pain and discomfort during sex, chronic pain, infection, cysts, abscesses, difficulties with periods and fertility problems. Women also often suffer severe psychological trauma, including flashbacks and depression.

 

FGM can affect pregnancy and childbirth

 

Women who have had FGM are significantly more likely to experience difficulties during childbirth and their babies are more likely to die as a result of the practice. Serious complications during childbirth include the need to have a caesarean section, dangerously heavy bleeding after the birth of the baby and prolonged hospitalisation following the birth.

 

FGM is not supported by any religious doctrine

 

Female Genital Mutilation is not a religious requirement or obligation. FGM, including a symbolic prick to the clitoris, has no link with Islam and is neither a requirement nor a ‘Sunna’ in Islam. Globally most Muslims do not practice FGM.

 

FGM is not condoned by Christian or Jewish teachings, or the Bible or Torah.

 

What do you do if you are concerned about someone who is at risk of FGM?

  • Talk to them about your concerns, but use simple language and straightforward questions.

  • Be sensitive and let them know that they can talk to you again.

  • Consult a child protection advisor and make a referral to children’s social care and/or the police.

  • Call the NSPCC FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 for more information or email them at fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.

  • Contact the Sacred Bodies FGM team at AAF on 02086984473 or email fgmhelp@sacredbosies.org confidential and non judgmental support

 

What to do if you have had FGM done?

 

You can seek medical advice and help from specialist health services. There are 15 specialist clinics around the UK and in some of these you can have a reversal procedure.

 

Call the NSPCC FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 for more information or email them at fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.

 

Visit www.gov.uk and search for female genital mutilation.

 

You can also contact the Sacred Bodies FGM team at AAF on 02086984473 or email fgmhelp@sacredbosies.org who will be happy to assist or refer you for further support.

 

What to do if you are worried you may be at risk of FGM

  • Talk to someone you trust, maybe a teacher or a school nurse. They are here to help and protect you.

  • Remember that no-one is allowed to hurt you physically or emotionally, and FGM is not allowed in this country.

  • You can get help. Call the NSPCC FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 for more information or email them at fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.

  • You can also contact the Sacred Bodies FGM team at AAF on 02086984473 or email fgmhelp@sacredbosies.org

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Resources

Africa Advocacy Foudation