Police have zero tolerance for FGM

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Antonia Bairstow (Police, Communications Officer, Thames Valley)

TVP is raising awareness of Female Genital mutilation (FGM) by supporting the International Day of Zero Tolerance.

FGM, also known as ‘cutting’, ‘sunna’ and ‘circumcision’ involves the cutting, removal and damage of the female genitalia for supposed cultural, religious or non-medical reasons. It can lead to a lifetime of pain, ill-health and psychological trauma for girls and women. It is illegal and offenders face up to 14 years in jail. Most victims are usually taken abroad on flights during the Easter, summer or Christmas holidays, FGM is routinely practiced in some African and Middle Eastern countries.

Key facts:

  • Globally, it is estimated that between 100 million to 140 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM.
  • If current trends continue, 15 million additional girls between ages 15 and 19 be subjected to it by 2030.
  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM cause severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Is anyone you know at risk of Female Genital Mutilation?
Warning signs can include…

  • Days off school, not participating in PE
  • Broken limbs, in pain and exhibiting restricted physical movement
  • Change in behaviour and demeanour
  • Other young family members going missing, forced to marry early or running away from home
  • Domestic violence, FGM, unreasonable restrictions e.g. house arrest
  • An upcoming trip overseas for a prolonged period of time – particularly if to an FGM practicing country and during the school holidays

If you or anyone you know is at risk help is available:

  • Thames Valley Police 101. In an emergency dial 999.
  • NSPCC FGM Helpline 0800 028 3350
  • Childline www.childline.org.uk 0800 1111
  • Daughters of Eve www.dofeve.org
  • Forward www.forwarduk.org.uk/key-issues/fgm/

For more information about FGM visit our website.