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Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM image

Girls and young women at risk of FGM are a vulnerable group. All agencies must work together to identify and protect them.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women and can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later, potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths.

In the UK, it is estimated that up to 24,000 girls under the age of 15 are at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). Girls are at particular risk of FGM during school summer holidays. This is the time when families may take their children abroad for the procedure. Many girls may not be aware that they may be at risk of undergoing FGM.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined as “all procedures which include the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Girls may be taken to their countries of origin so that FGM can be carried out during the summer holidays, allowing them time to "heal" before they return to school. There are also worries that some girls may have FGM performed in the UK. Further information can be found on NHS Choices Information on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

 

FGM is abuse of the human rights of girls and women and is therefore a child protection issue.

FGM is illegal in the UK and it is illegal to prepare, send or take a child to another country.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have published Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines to provide advice and support to frontline professionals who have responsibilities to safeguard children and protect adults from the abuses associated with female genital mutilation (FGM). As it is unlikely that any single agency will be able to meet the multiple needs of someone affected by FGM, this document sets out a multi-agency response and strategies to encourage agencies to cooperate and work together.

The guidance provides information on:

  • identifying when a girl (including an unborn girl) or young woman may be at risk of being subjected to FGM and responding appropriately to protect them
  • identifying when a girl or young woman has been subjected to FGM and responding appropriately to support them
  • measures that can be implemented to prevent and ultimately eradicate the practice of FGM.

 

If you identify or suspect a child is at risk of being subjected to FGM you must notify children’s services and follow local safeguarding procedures.

If you are concerned that a British national may be taken overseas for the purpose of FGM please also call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500.

Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders came in to force on the 17 July 2015 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. FGM Protection Orders are unique to each case and contain legally binding conditions, prohibitions and restrictions to protect the person at risk of FGM. For further information please visit the NSPCC website

 

Reporting FGM

From October 31 2015 it is mandatory for regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report known cases of FGM in under 18-year-olds to the police.

The duty applies where in the course of their professional duties, the professional either:

·         Is informed by the girl that an act of FGM has been carried out on her; or

·         Observes physical signs which appear to show an act of FGM has been carried out and has no reason to believe that the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth.

The professional is expected to make a referral within one month, this includes ensuring the family is aware of the report. The duty applies only to those cases which are visually identified or disclosed to a professional by the victim and is under 18yrs old).

The duty does not apply in relation to ‘at risk’ cases. In this instance Bedford Borough safeguarding procedures must be followed.

 

The Department of Health (DoH) has published updated guidance explaining healthcare professionals’ duty to report cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in girls under 18.

Date: 20 January 2017

Further information: Service standards for FGM care for under 18s 

Quick Guide version of Department of Health Safeguarding guidance - click here

The assessment tables are now in editable template format – fill them in on your screen and attach to a healthcare record directly, without the extra pages getting in the way. The new documents should also be used in conjunction with the safeguarding pathway.

 

The Home Office has made updates to its documents about female genital mutilation (FGM). These include: the statement opposing FGM; the procedural information for mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation; the factsheet on FGM protection orders.

Date: 01 December 2016

Further information: Statement opposing female genital mutilation

Mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation: procedural information

FGM protection orders: factsheet

 

Further information:
   NSPCC information on FGM

   

 

FGM Resources

The Department of Health has produced a range of resources for healthcare staff, including a quick guide and flowchart, poster and training slides, to ensure they are confident in responding to cases of female genital mutilation (FGM). To visit their website click here

Safeguarding women and girls at risk of FGM. This document provides practical help to support NHS Organisations developing new safeguarding policies and procedures for femal genital mutilation (FGM) 

Commissioning services to support women and girls with FGM. This document sets out what some elements of a successful and safe service to support women and girls with female genital mutilation (FGM) might look like. Thank you to the many people involved in the development, and we hope that these are useful for healthcare organisations.

 

Pan Bedfordshire Strategy on FGM, Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse

Please follow this link to the Pan Bedfordshire Strategy on FGM, Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse

 

Local Pathway

Please follow this link to the Bedfordshire FGM Pathways

 

Local leaflets

FGM Factsheet for professionals

FGM factsheet for women and girls

 

Fact sheet on FGM

Click here for the fact sheet.

Click on this link for the FGM Postcard

 

Free FGM e-learning

The Home Office has launched free online training for frontline professionals in identifying and helping girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). The training can be accessed by visiting the website: http://www.fgmelearning.co.uk/

Three more elearning sessions have been released, and the Health Education England eFGM programme is live.  For more information please see http://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/female-genital-mutilation/

 

National FGM related support services

FORWARD UK
FORWARD (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development) is an African Diaspora women led UK-registered campaign and support charity dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health and rights of African girls and women. They work in UK, Europe and Africa to help change practices and policies that affect access, dignity and wellbeing. They tackle female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and related rights of girls and young women.
http://www.forwarduk.org.uk/


FGM National Helpline

If you are worried that a child may be at risk of FGM you can make an anonymous call to the free 24-hour FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 at fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.

 

Department of Health

Safeguarding women and girls at risk of FGM

This document provides practical help to support NHS organisations developing new safeguarding policies and procedures for female genital mutilation (FGM).

Commissioning services to support women and girls with FGM

This document sets out what some elements of a successful and safe service to support women and girls with female genital mutilation (FGM) might look like.
NHS Specialist FGM clinics
http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/sexual-health-services/Pages/fgm-health-services-for-women.aspx

 

Coventry University has designed a new app to educate young people about female genital mutilation. It is endorsed by the NSPCC and has been launched in the run up to the school summer holidays, a period during which a girl's risk of being taken abroad to undergo the procedure increases.

Further information:

Coventry University press release

Download Petals web app

 

FGM Guidance, Research and Resources

On Friday 1st April 2016 the Government published, under powers in the Serious Crime Act 2015, multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation and the consultation response. These can be found via the links below.

Guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/multi-agency-statutory-guidance-on-female-genital-mutilation

Consultation outcome: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-the-draft-statutory-multi-agency-practice-guidance-on-female-genital-mutilation-fgm

 

London Safeguarding Children Board FGM Toolkit

http://www.londonscb.gov.uk/


Multiagency Practice Guidance
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/216669/dh_124588.pdf


The FGM Act 2003
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-female-genital-mutilation-act-2003


Tackling FGM in the UK – Project Evaluation Summary http://issuu.com/esmeefairbairn/docs/fgm_final_evaluation_summary_2013/3?e=4555069/3756192


FGM Health Passport
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/208440/fgm-v12-web.pdf

FGM ‘Passport’ Statement opposing female genital mutilation has now been published in the following community languages: Turkish, Urdu, Farsi. Somali, Swahili, Arabic, Amharic and Tigrinya.  Please go to  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statement-opposing-female-genital-mutilation where copies can be downloaded.

The organisation, Rights of Women, has published a briefing on female genital mutilation and the law. Rights of Women 01 October 2015

 

Leaflets and Posters

Click on the titles below to see the actual poster or guidance

NSPCC poster

NHS England and The Department for Health poster

NHS England and The Department for Health guidance


FGM Poster for young people
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/97820/poster-for-fgm.pdf


FGM Leaflet for young people
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/97829/leaflet-for-fgm.pdf

 

Local contacts

ACCM logo

ACCM (UK) established in 2008, is a Charity and an international non-governmental organisation (NGO), evolved from a major local charity, Agency for Culture and Change Management - (ACCM Sheffield), whose primary role was to lobby for and communicate the effects of legislation concerning Female Genital Mutilation and other harmful traditional practices in the UK. 

Telephone: 0044(0) 1234 356 910

Mobile: 0044(0) 7712482568

 

National campaigns

The Red Triangle Campaign has been launched to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. A partnership between the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Freedom Charity, this encourages people to provide the police with information that can help detect and prevent FGM in the UK and abroad.

SourceFreedom Charity  Date: 06 February 2017

Further information: Anti-FGM campaign launched in UK to mark global day of opposition

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