Female genital mutilation or female circumcision is a collective term for procedures which include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs, or injury to the female genital organs, for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons.
Female genital mutilation is an operation which is medically unnecessary, is extremely painful, and has serious health consequences, both at the time of the procedure, and in later life. It can also be psychologically damaging.
A number of girls die as a direct result of the procedure, from blood loss or infection. In the longer term, women who have undergone some form of mutilation are twice as likely to die in childbirth, and four times more likely to give birth to a still born child.
It is an offence for a person to excise, infibulate or otherwise mutilate the whole or any part of a girl’s majora, labia minora or clitoris either in the UK or to arrange for a female to be taken abroad for the purpose of FGM.
It is unlawful for any *UK National, or permanent UK resident to:
1) Carry out the act itself,
2) Assist or arrange for a female to be taken abroad for the purpose of genital mutilation,
3) Assist a female to mutilate her own genitalia (On a *UK National or permanent UK resident).
*The definitions of a UK National or Permanent UK resident are:
Permanent United Kingdom resident is an individual who is settled in the United Kingdom (within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971 ).
United Kingdom national is an individual who is:
The Penalty is up to 14 years imprisonment.
Female genital mutilation is physical abuse, and whilst it is perceived by parents not to be an act of hate, it is harmful, it is child abuse and it is unlawful. It has long lasting significant implications for those who have the procedure performed on them.
Anyone with any information about children believed to be at risk of FGM, about people believed to be carrying out FGM, or any other information relating to offences of FGM are urged to contact West Midlands Police on 101.