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‘#EndFGM Protect Our Girls’ This International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM

Today (6th February) marks International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM. There is information below on what FGM is, warning signs to look out for, and where you can go for support.

If you or someone you know is, has been, or is at risk of becoming a victim of FGM, contact Warwickshire Police on 101. In an emergency, dial 999.

Just last week, a mother became the first person in the UK to be found guilty of FGM.

What Is FGM?

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women and girls. The practice also violates their rights to health, security and physical integrity, their right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their right to life when the procedure results in death.

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 Easter, summer and Christmas holiday periods.

The UN Agenda for Sustainable Development promises an end to this practice by 2030.

More information can be found on our dedicated FGM page.

Warning Signs

Education

  • Days off school
  • Not participating in PE
  • Broken limbs
  • Wearing tight clothing
  • In pain/restricted movement
  • Change in behaviour/demeanour
  • Parents originate from an FGM practicing country (further information available on the Unicef website).

Family History

  • The family come from a community that is known to practice FGM
  • Parents announce they will be taking the child out of the country for a prolonged period
  • 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:

  • Haemorrhage
  • Severe pain & shock
  • Urine retention
  • Infection including tetanus & HIV
  • Injury to adjacent tissue
  • Fracture or dislocation to limbs as a result of restraint
  • 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
  • Chronic scar formations
  • Death.

Resources

FGM Image

Download the Warwickshire FGM poster here.

You can also download the ‘Let’s Protect Our Girls’ materials, produced by the Home Office here.

The below video has also been produced to raise awareness of FGM:

Support

The Blue Sky Centre is a Sexual Assault Referral Centre for women, men and children in Coventry and Warwickshire.

Coventry Haven offers a range of support services to women and children who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse, including FGM.

Refuge is a countywide service which provides support to women, men and children experiencing domestic violence in Warwickshire. This includes culturally specific services, including support to victims of FGM, honour based violence and forced marriage.

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