Female Genital Mutiliation (FGM)

What is FGM?

Female Genital Mutiliation (FGM), sometimes referred to as ‘cutting’, ‘sunna’, ‘gudniin’ or ‘female circumcision’ comprises of all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genital organs or any other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.  FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15.  It is illegal in the UK and is classfied as child abuse.  Full information is available on the NHS Choices website and locally, NELFT has produced a leaflet.

Accessing Help and Support

If you feel you or someone you know, like a daughter or sister, may be at risk of FGM:

  • support is available from Refuge, including provision of a safe place to stay – call 0808 2000 247;
  • if you are worried about being taken abroad, call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 0207008 1500;
  • guidance is available from the NSPCC FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550, or from Forward on 02079206460;
  • if you believe a child is at risk, contact the Redbridge Child Protection and Assessment Team (CPAT) via 020 8708 3885 or mailto:CPAT.Referrals@redbridge.gov.uk; or
  • if the risk is immediate – call the Police on 999.

If you have already undergone FGM, medical support is available through your GP or through Specialist FGM Clinics in London.  There are also a number of groups that can offer support, counselling and guidance:

The National FGM Centre have published a leaflet aimed at girls and women where FGM has been confirmed during pregnancy:

The Department of Health has published useful documents regarding FGM Safeguarding and Risk Assessment.