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UK: FGM on the rise

Thursday 6 July 2017, by siawi3

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40491311

FGM: More than 5,000 newly-recorded cases in England

4 July 2017

The NHS in England recorded 5,391 new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the past year, data reveals.

Almost half involved women and girls living in London, NHS Digital found.

A third were women and girls born in Somalia, while 112 cases were UK-born nationals.

The practice is illegal in the UK and it is compulsory for family doctors, hospitals and mental health trusts to report any new cases in their patients.

FGM - intentionally altering or injuring the female external genitalia for non-medical reasons - carries a sentence of up to 14 years in jail.

It is the second time that NHS Digital has released annual FGM figures for England.

Most of the cases were spotted by midwives and doctors working in maternity and obstetric units.

The majority had originally had FGM done to them abroad and as a young child.

Funding concerns

The NSPCC says more should be done to end the practice: "FGM is child abuse. Despite being illegal for over 30 years, too many people are still being subjected to it and it is right that health services have started to properly record evidence of this horrendous practice.

"It takes courage to report concerns as many feel ashamed or worry they will betray friends and family. But we need to end the silence that surrounds FGM to better protect children."

The National FGM Centre, which is run by the children’s charity Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association (LGA), tries to prevent the practice, but its director Michelle Lee-Izu is warning it could be at risk of closure if government funding is withdrawn.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, from the LGA, said the government "must act now" to secure the National FGM Centre’s "long-term future" by providing guaranteed funding.

He said: "Social work provision to girls and families affected by FGM has been quickly and significantly improved through the intervention of Centre social workers, embedded in council safeguarding teams, and hundreds of referrals have been received in areas that previously only recorded a handful of cases each year.

Mr Blackburn added that the government needed to back its commitment to ending FGM in the UK "with the long-term funding required to make that vision a reality".

Grassroots reporting

Anyone concerned about someone who has suffered, or is at risk of FGM, can contact the NSPCC FGM Helpline anonymously on 0800 028 3550 or visit nspcc.org.uk.

Wendy Preston, from the Royal College of Nursing, said: "Mandatory reporting and compulsory sex-and-relationships education are important weapons in the fight against FGM, and school nurses play a vital role in both educating children and young women, and spotting those who may be at risk.

"The government must act to attract and retain school nurses, to help address the problem at grassroots level, and maintain momentum in the fight to eradicate FGM."

A government spokesman said the start-up money for the centre came from the £200m Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, and was designed to lead to self-sustaining work, not ongoing core funding.

But he added: "Protecting women and girls from violence and supporting victims is a key priority for this government and a personal priority for the Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening."

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Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/07/05/over-5000-new-cases-of-female-genital-mutilation-reported-in-england-since-2016/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=BRSS&utm_campaign=Nonreligious&utm_content=361

Over 5,000 New Cases of Female Genital Mutilation Reported in England Since 2016

July 5, 2017

by Hemant Mehta

The National Health Service (NHS) in England just released a report detailing the number of cases of female genital mutilation doctors reported over the past year. That includes babies mutilated by someone else as well as women giving birth who had clearly been mutilated in the past.

How many is too many? How many would you you expect to see in England? Sure, even one is disturbing, but if you had asked me to guess, I would never have picked a number this large.

FGMDoc

The findings show that in the last year there were 9,179 attendances in which FGM was either identified, treatment was given, or a woman with FGM had given birth to a baby girl.

In total, 5,391 attendances were recorded in the system for the first time — 114 of which were girls under the age of 16.

That’s a slight drop from the year before, but considering the number should be closer to zero, it’s not falling fast enough.

Many of those women (35%) were born in Somalia (where religion and culture play heavy roles in FGM) and left, but 112 were born in the UK. Which makes you wonder what the hell was going on there. Anyone convicted of performing the procedure in the UK can go to jail for up to 14 years. If the doctors weren’t doing it, the alternatives are unimaginable.

In the more than 30 years since FGM became illegal in the UK, not a single person has been convicted of the crime. Only one case has been brought to trial and nothing happened to the defendants.

Without serious punishment brought upon those who facilitate and perform FGM, it won’t stop.

And remember: These are only the cases doctors reported. We don’t know how many victims didn’t see a doctor in England last year or how many cases went unnoticed.