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‘Let’s Protect Our Girls’ FGM Campaign Launched

The Home Office has launched their ‘Let’s Protect Our Girls‘ Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) campaign to run for eight weeks, as part of their commitment to tackling this crime and protecting vulnerable women and girls.

The campaign will support the ongoing work to tackle FGM, which includes an ongoing programme of outreach by the Home Office’s FGM Unit, work with law enforcement bodies, and working with partners to help ensure the Government’s response is as effective as it can be.

The campaign seeks to help prevent FGM by changing attitudes among affected communities through raising awareness of the negative long-term health consequences of FGM.

The campaign also encourages communities to report via the NSPCC’s FGM helpline.

Phone the free NSPCC FGM helpline anonymously on 0800 028 3550.

The NSPCC’s ‘Ending Female Genital Mutilation’ video is being re-promoted as part of the campaign:

In addition, a new set of resources have been produced, including posters titled ‘Let’s Protect Our Girls‘.

What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

FGM involves the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other
damage to the genital organs, for supposed cultural, religious or non-medical
reasons. FGM (also known as female circumcision, ‘cutting’ and ‘sunna’) can affect
females from birth to pregnancy. It inflicts severe physical and psychological
damage which can last a lifetime.

While there is some intelligence to suggest FGM is being physically performed in
the UK, most victims are usually taken abroad, commonly on flights in the holiday
periods of Easter, summer and Christmas.

FGM Warning Signs Include:

  • Days off school
  • Not participating in PE
  • In pain/restricted movement
  • Change in behaviour/demeanour
  • Parents originate from an FGM practicing country (further information available on the Unicef website)
  • A child may talk about a long holiday to a country where FGM is routinely practiced
  • A child may confide that she is to have a “special procedure” or celebration.

Potential Health Effects of FGM Include:

  • Haemorrhage
  • Severe pain & shock
  • Urine retention
  • Infection including tetanus & HIV
  • Difficulty with passing urine & chronic urinary tract infections leading to renal problems or renal failure
  • Difficulties with menstruation
  • Acute & chronic pelvic infections leading to infertility
  • Sexual dysfunction/psychological damage and flashbacks
  • Complications during pregnancy
  • Death

More information, resources, and links to support services can be found on our FGM page.

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