What is FGM?
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a deep-rooted cultural practice that affects an estimated 140-200 million women and girls worldwide, including 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales (NSPCC). FGM “comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons” (World Health Organisation, 2017). FGM has no health benefits and is a human rights violation and a form of child abuse that has been illegal in the UK since 1985. It is also a criminal offence for UK nationals (or permanent UK residents) to take their child abroad to have female genital mutilation. Anyone ignoring these laws can face up to 14 years in prison.
Suffolk Refugee Support FGM Project:
Suffolk Refugee Support (SRS)’s FGM Project aims to both prevent and protect women and girls in Suffolk from FGM and support those who have undergone the practice. Our project includes: working with affected communities to improve their understanding of the harmful effects of FGM, training professionals to safeguard against the practice, helping survivors of FGM access support and raising awareness of this cultural practice in Suffolk.
It is important to point out that FGM is not an issue specific to refugees—the practice just happens to be prevalent in a number of refugee-producing countries.
For more information about the support available to FGM victims or our community work please contact our FGM Project Officer Charlotte Maguire on 01473 400785 / firstname.lastname@example.org
We are currently looking for volunteers for our FGM Project – for more info, please visit our volunteer page.
What to do if you are worried someone is at risk of FGM:
If you have any concerns about yourself or anyone else that might have been affected by FGM, the NSPCC have an anonymous FGM helpline open 24/7. The number is 0800 028 3550.
If you are worried about a girl under 18 being at risk of FGM please call either Customer First on 0808 800 4005 or the Police on 101.
If a girl is in imminent danger of FGM please do not delay and call the police on 999.
Suffolk Refugee Support is here to help women who have been affected by FGM; for more information please contact Charlotte Maguire (details above).
You can find more information and further reading on FGM from the NSPCC here.