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Female genital mutilation


Female genital mutilation (FGM) involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other damage to the genital organs, for supposed cultural, religious or non-medical reasons. FGM also known as female circumcision, 'cutting' or 'sunna' can affect females from birth to pregnancy.  It inflicts physical and psychological damage which can last a lifetime.

FGM is routinely practiced worldwide from some communities originating in Africa and the Middle East, where up to 98% of young women have undergone the FGM procedure.  Around 66,000 girls and women living in England and Wales have undergone FGM with an estimated 20,000 girls under the age of 15 at risk. 

It is an offence to carry out FGM in England and Wales, to arrange for a female to be taken abroad for the purpose of FGM, to assist a girl to mutilate her own genitalia and assisting a non-UK person to mutilate a girl's genitalia overseas - even if FGM is legal in that country.

If you or someone you know has concerns about FGM we encourage you not to suffer in silence, your welfare is our priority and we have specialist officers who can support you.  There are also support agencies that can help you.

Getting advice and help

There is help available throughout West Mercia for people who are, or who may be at risk of  female genital mutilation (FGM). West Mercia Police have trained, specialist officers who can be contacted by calling 101.

The following organisations and help lines also provide a range of support services:

Glade Sexual Abuse Referral Centre

Telephone: 08081 782058

NSPCC FGM Helpline

Telephone: 0800 028 3550

Karma Nirvana Helpline

Karma Nirvana Helpline number is 0800 5999 247
(Operates between 9-5 Monday to Friday, Outside of these hours and if urgent call 999)