Female genital mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons and it's illegal in the UK.
FGM, also known as female circumcision or cutting, is a form of child abuse.
FGM has serious health consequences, both at the time of the procedure and into adulthood. There are also long-term emotional and psychological effects from the lasting damage caused by FGM.
Female genital mutilation is an extremely serious crime. It illegal to:
- practice FGM in the UK
- assist a girl to mutilate her own genitalia
- take girls who are British Nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM regardless of whether it is lawful in that country
- do anything with the aim of arranging FGM to be carried out abroad.
The maximum penalty is 14 years in prison and/or a fine.
Female Genital Mutilation Orders can be taken out by the police to protect girls and women.
Health professionals, teachers and those in social care must report to police if a girl under the age of 18 discloses that she has had FGM or presents with the risk indicators that she has had FGM.
We would prefer to speak to you on the phone (call us on 101) or in person if you:
- feel you are at risk
- are suffering from the effects of FGM
- suspect a child may be at risk
- have any information at all relating to suspected acts of FGM.
If you know someone at risk, contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency if you think that a girl or young woman is in danger of FGM.
You can also contact Social Services on 0344 800 8020 for welfare/safety concerns relating to a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
Please don’t be worried about talking to us, we will always listen to you and do everything we can to help.
Help and support
Please contact the following agencies for further help and support:
- NSPCC FGM 24 hour Helpline
0800 028 3550
- Daughters of Eve
Customer First and Social Care:
Call 0808 800 4005, or dial 999 in an emergency.
NHS specialist clinics for FGM
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