Female Genital Mutilation (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.
What this statement is for: You should take this statement with you when you go abroad. You can show it to your family. This makes it clear that FGM is a serious criminal offence in the UK with a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison for anyone found guilty. Your parents, or whoever is caring for you, may also be guilty of an offence if they fail to protect you from FGM being carried out.
Keep this statement safe: You should carry it with you at all times – especially when you go abroad.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England and Wales under the FGM Act 2003 (“the 2003 Act”). It is a form of child abuse and violence against women. FGM comprises all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons.
Section 5B of the 2003 Act1 introduces a mandatory reporting duty which requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police. The duty applies from 31 October 2015 onwards.
‘Known’ cases are those where either a girl informs the person that an act of FGM – however described – has been carried out on her, or where the person observes physical signs on a girl appearing to show that an act of FGM has been carried out and the person has no reason to believe that the act was, or was part of, a surgical operation within section 1(2)(a) or (b) of the FGM Act 20032.