Female genital mutilation is the mutilation of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is often referred to as female circumcision, ‘cutting’ or ‘sunna’.
Government Statement opposing FGM
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is child abuse and an extremely harmful practice with devastating health consequences for girls and women.
Some girls die from blood loss or infection as a direct result of the procedure.
Some women who have undergone FGM are also likely to find it difficult to give birth and many also suffer from long-term psychological trauma.
- Female genital Mutilation is a crime in the United Kingdom. Even if a girl is taken abroad to undergo FGM, it is still a crime in the UK if the mutilation is done by a UK national or a UK resident.
- It is also a crime if a UK national or resident assists or gets a non-UK national or resident to carry out FGM overseas on a UK national or resident.
- If FGM is committed against a girl under the age of 16, each person who is responsible for the girl at the relevant time is guilty of an offence.
Anyone found guilty of an FGM offence – or of helping somebody commit one – faces up to 14 years in prison, a fine, or both.
Anyone found guilty of failing to protect a girl from risk of FGM faces up to 7 years in prison, a fine, or both.
If you are worried that this might happen to you or someone you know, you can speak to a member of the safeguarding team in school. They will be able to help and support you.
Alternatively, you can report this abuse by contacting one of the following:
- If there’s immediate danger or if you or someone you know is in immediate danger of FGM, contact the police.
Call 999 to report emergencies or 101 for non-emergencies.
- You should also contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office if you know a British national who’s already been taken abroad.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Telephone: 020 7008 1500
- If you or someone you know is at risk
Contact the NSPCC anonymously if you’re worried that a girl or young woman is at risk or is a victim of FGM.
NSPCC FGM Helpline
Telephone: 0800 028 3550