Female Genital Mutilation

What is Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (F.G.M) is the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for cultural reasons. However, it is important to note that this process is deemed a criminal offence by law.

There are three main forms of F.G.M.:

Circumcision (Sunna) – This involves the removal of the hood of the clitoris preserving the clitoris itself. 

Excision (Clitoridectomy) – This is where the clitoris is removed partially or totally along with the labia minora.

Infibulation (Pharaonic Circumcision) – In infibulation, the clitoris, the whole of the labia minora and the internal parts of the labia majora are removed. The two sides of the Vulva are then sewn together leaving a very small opening to allow for urinating and the menstrual flow.

How common is Female Genital Mutilation

Reporting Female Genital Mutilation

Citizens advice recommend the following steps.
1. Find somewhere safe to stay (relative, friends, refuge emergency
or rented accommodation)
2. It recommends that women in Wales looking for a refuge ring Live Fear Free on 0808 8010 800, for England they should ring the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
3. For men requiring a refuge in England they should ring Mens Advice Line on
0808 8010327, for men in Wales it’s the same number as above 0808 8010 800.

The MET police state that you should use the emergency number
999 if your life is in danger, otherwise call 101.
Otherwise, if you need help or advice use our signposting database to
locate the support you require.


Gov.uk state that if you’re worried a child is at risk of or has already had FGM, you should call their FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email fgm.help@nspcc.org.uk.

Health or social care professionals must report cases of FGM to the police if: a girl under 18 tells them they’ve had FGM or they see physical signs that a girl has had FGM.

If there is a concern that a child may have had FGM or be at risk of it, and they tell you that they have FGM or you observe physical signs that appear to show FGM, you must call 101 to make a report. 

The report must be made before the end of the next working day. A record of all decisions and actions regarding safeguarding must be provided to the police officer.

You will need to provide the girl’s name, date of birth and her address, your contact details.

Do not carry out a genital examination unless it is part of your job role.

Wherever possible, explain to the girl and/or her family that you’re making a report and what that means. Do not discuss it if you think that making a report could lead to a risk of serious harm to anybody. Contact your local safeguarding lead for advice in these cases

If you suspect the girl has recently been cut or is at imminent risk, act immediately, ring 999. 

If you only suspect that FGM has taken place, you should still make a report and you may need to complete a social care referral. You should follow local safeguarding procedures, sharing information about the potential risk and your actions with your colleagues across health (GP, school nurse and health visitor).

Female Genital Mutilation in regards to race

There are no statistics that specifically highlight the numbers of
domestic abuse associated with the BAME communities.
Due to the disproportionate incarceration of black men and women
in the UK, there is little faith in the police, which means that people
of colour are less likely report their abuse.
There is also, in many communities also a language barrier to
reporting domestic abuse.

Contery to popular belief, F.G.M. isn’t totally synonymous with the Muslim religion. A report carried out in Burkina Faso stated that Christians, Muslims and other religions all adopted the practise, even the Jewish in Ethiopia have been known to circumcise girls. However, the practise is associated predominantly with the Muslim religion.But neither the Quran or the Bible mention F.G.M., which makes this more of a cultural depravity.