It is estimated that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 in the UK are at risk of FGM each year and is a growing cause of concern in schools.
UK communities that are most at risk of FGM include Kenyan, Somali, Sudanese, Sierra Leonean, Egyptian, Nigerian and Eritrean. Other communities that practise FGM include Yemeni, Afghani, Kurdish, Indonesian and Pakistani.
Under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, it is an offence for anyone to perform FGM in the UK, assist the carrying out of FGM in the UK or assist FGM carried out abroad even in countries where the practice is not a criminal offence.
In St Mary Magdalen’s, FGM is recognised as violence against women and girls and a form of child abuse, and as such, it is dealt with as part of existing adult/child safeguarding policies and procedures.
We have key staff trained to deal with FGM and are alerted to the following indicators:
A child’s family comes from a community that is known to practise FGM
A child may talk about a long holiday to a country where the practice is prevalent
A child may confide that she is to have a special procedure or she is going to attend a special occasion
A child may request help from a member of staff
Any female child born to a woman or has a sister who has been subjected to FGM will be considered to be at risk, as much as other female children in the extended family. Any information or concern that a child is at risk of or has undergone FGM will result in a child protection referral to Children’s Social Care.
What to do if you are worried:
Contact the NSPCC FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 for confidential advice