Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
FGM is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed without any medical reason. FGM is usually carried out on girls before puberty starts, sometimes before the age of 12 months. FGM is irreversible and very painful, it can be harmful to the health and wellbeing of women and girls. It can also lead to problems with sex, childbirth and menstruation. FGM has no health benefits for the woman.
FGM is a hidden issue which often only comes to light when related health problems occur or the woman is pregnant. It is against the law in the UK, Europe and many African countries to perform or facilitate this procedure. The practice became illegal in the UK in1985 (The Prohibition of Circumcision Act 1985).More recently the Female Genital Mutilation Act (2003) makes it illegal for any residents of the UK to perform or facilitate FGM within or outside the UK. The punishment for violating the 2003 Act carries 14 years imprisonment, a fine or both. FGM is recognised internationally as a violation of the human right of girls and women.
In 2015, it was estimated that there were 137,000 women aged 15+ living with the consequences of FGM in the UK. During the year April 2017 to March 2018, 6,195 women and girls survivors of FGM in the UK accounted for 9,490 attendances recorded in NHS services. For 4,495 of these women and girls, it was the first time they were included in national datasets as FGM survivors.
In Nottingham, similar to preceding years, there were 65 newly recorded cases reported in the FGM dataset by healthcare providers. Almost all of the women identified were between the ages of 18 and 39 years. The majority of women had undergone this before the age of 14 years with a significant number of them having had FGM before they were 12 months old. The country
City University London (2015) “Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales: National and local estimates” https://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/282388/FGM-statistics-final-report-21-07-15-released-text.pdf
FGM mandatory reporting for all women and girls disclosing / identified as having FGM using the FGM enhanced dataset
The FGM Prevention programme is led by the Department of Health to improve awareness, provision of services and safeguarding girls at risk. It is now mandatory for Trusts to submit data re FGM in order to establish a national picture and ensure appropriate services are offered to women and girls.This work specifically will not pass any personal details to the Police or Social Care services – the collection of this data will not trigger individual criminal investigations.
The clinic is nurse/midwife led and based at City Hospital Campus and Queens Campus. The clinic offers advice, referral to urogynae, consultant obstetrician, social care, honour based abuse team, counselling, ante natal care and assessment, de-infibulation, post-surgery and post natal follow up.
Further information and resources
Free brief e-learning on FGM from the Home Office can be accessed at https://www.fgmelearning.co.uk/ this is supported by a resource pack which can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/female-genital-mutilation-resource-pack
FGM leaflet “More information about FGM” (2015). Available in the FGM clinic or download from NHS Choices website – http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/female-genital-mutilation/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Home Office FGM information booklet can be accessed at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/482799/6_1587_HO_MT_Updates_to_the_FGM_The_Facts_WEB.pdf
The ‘Ending Female Genital Mutilation’ film produced as part of the 2014 FGM campaign is hosted on the NSPCC website and is also available to share on social channels, events and community groups. This can be accessed at can be accessed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04qAO5ZzZdY