Female genital mutilation (FGM), sometimes called female circumcision or cutting, is a form of child abuse that happens in some African, Asian and Middle Eastern communities in the UK.
FGM is a collective term for procedures that include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs, or injury to the female genital organs, for cultural or other non-medical reasons.
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.
We need everyone to understand that FGM is child abuse and to take a stand against it. We know that FGM is under-reported in the Wiltshire area, and nationally.
Our Force priorities around FGM are to:
- Protect victims from this form of abuse
- Promote education of the issues related to FGM
- Help increase public awareness of FGM
- Improve relationships with communities where women and girls are at risk of FGM
- Enforce the law against peoples involved in carrying out FGM.
FGM is a serious crime and must never be tolerated. The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes 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.
An offence under this act has a maximum penalty of up to 14 years in prison and/or a fine.
IMPORTANT – If you think you are in immediate danger, or believe a child may be in imminent danger then call 999.
If you think you may be at risk of FGM, or you are suffering from the effects of FGM, or you believe a child may be at risk, or if you have any information at all about suspected acts of FGM then please contact us by calling 101, or go into a local police station.
We take reports of Female Genital Mutilation very seriously and will work with other agencies to protect and support the victim fully.
Help and support
If you would like further information about FGM, or if you need advice or support, you can use the following contacts:
If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, phone the NSPCC FGM helpline.
Daughters of Eve- www.dofeve.org
A not for profit organisation that works to protect girls and young women who are at risk of FGM.
The Foundation for Women's Health, this is a UK registered charity which provides support for women affected by FGM and works to eliminate the practice.