Female Genital Mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM)
FGM is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there's no medical reason for this to be done. It's also known as female circumcision or cutting, and by other terms, such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others.
FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts. It is very painful and seriously harm or kill women and girls. It can also cause long term health problems and affect childbirth, menstruation and mental health.
FGM is illegal in the UK and is child abuse and classed as a serious crime. Performing FGM or assisting or encouraging anyone to carry out FGM carries a maximum sentence of up to 14 years in prison as. It is also a criminal offence to plan to take a girl or woman abroad with the intention of carrying out FGM.
Any professional, either in health of education, who discovers that a girl under 18 has been a victim of FGM has a legal obligation to report this to the police.