Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is child abuse and illegal.
It is a practice which takes place worldwide in at least 30 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. It also takes place within parts of Western Europe and other developed countries, primarily among immigrant and refugee communities.
FGM is a complex issue - despite the harm it causes, some women and men from affected communities consider it to be normal to protect their daughters and their cultural identity.
Some people believe that FGM is a way to ensure virginity and chastity. It is sometimes done to preserve girls from sex outside of marriage and from having sexual feelings. FGM is often claimed to be carried out in accordance with religious beliefs, but it is not supported by any religious doctrine.
Regulated health and social care professionals and teachers are required to report cases of FGM in girls under 18 which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police.
Please see the following documents:
Department of Health Mandatory Reporting duty
Home Office Mandatory Reporting fact sheet