CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND What is FGM? All procedures which involve the partial or total removal of the external genitalia or injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or any other non- therapeutic reasons The World Health Organisation
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Who is Affected? Worldwide – 140 Million girls and women have been affected UK – 24,000 girls at risk annually London – 6,500 girls at risk annually 2007 Prevalence Study by FORWARD UK Commissioned by DoH
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Human Rights FGM is a fundamental human rights issue with adverse health & social implications… (it) violates the rights of girls and women to their bodily integrity and results in perpetuating gender inequality UK All Parliamentary Group on Population Development and Reproductive Health (2000 )
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Isnt it the same as Male Circumcision? If a boy or man underwent the same degree of mutilation as a young woman undergoing the most common form of FGM, he would have the head of his penis and around a third of the shaft removed World Health Organisation
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Types of FGM I - removal of the clitoral hood with or without the removal of the clitoris II - removal of the clitoris and partial or total removal of the vaginal lips III - removal of the clitoris, vaginal lips and the stitching of the vagina, leaving a 1-2cm opening IV - piercing the clitoris, cauterisation, cutting the vagina, inserting corrosive substances, stretching of the vaginal lips…….
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Where does it happen?
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Senegal Gambia Iran Guinea-Bissau Sierra Leone Liberia Mauritania Mali Malaysia Cote DIvore Burkina Benis Togo Nigeria Chad Niger Djibouti Iraq Central African Republic UAE Egypt Sudan Eritrea Ethiopia Somalia Kenya Sudan Tanzania Uganda Pakistan Sri Lanka Indonesia Kurdish Communities India
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND THE LAW Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 Penalty – 5 years imprisonment Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 Penalty – 14 years imprisonment
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND FGM Act 2003 Offence to commit FGM [S1] Offence to assist a girl to commit FGM on herself [S2] Offence for someone in the UK to arrange or assist FGM outside of UK even if carried out by a person who isnt a UK national or resident [S3] Any act done outside UK by UK National or resident [S4]
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND The Law – the technical bits! NO AGE LIMIT - Girl = woman Defence = If it is a surgical operation necessary for physical / mental health Mental health does not include belief that FGM is required as a matter of custom or ritual Designer Vagina
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND There have been NO prosecutions under FGM legislation in the UK…
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Some Barriers to Reporting… Children are unlikely to tell on their parents Many from loving / caring families Once in a lifetime event Honour Based Violence Community Acceptance / Marriage Victims maybe too young to remember Language / Immigration status Unaware of the law Lack of understanding of health implications
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Summer is for Fun… …Not for Pain!
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Indicators - FGM maybe about to happen… Family from a practicing community; Extended holiday, particularly to a practicing country; Child is going to become a woman or have a special celebration; Child may begin to display a behavioural change……
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATION COMMAND Indicators - FGM has already taken place… Girl may spend long periods of time away from the classroom associated with bladder or menstrual problems; The child requiring to be excused from physical exercise; Prolonged absences from School plus a noticeable behaviour change…..
London Safeguarding Childrens Board FGM Resource Pack National Information & Resources Signposting for additional support Specialised information for Health Available On-line / Hard Copies Complement the GEO FGM Factsheet Suitable for practicing communities