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Female Genital Mutilation

FGM Image

Download the Warwickshire FGM poster here.

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:

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.

Useful Resources and Contacts

National FGM Centre

NSPCC – FGM pages

National posters and wallet cards (NSPCC) 

Government FGM information and resources

FGM assessment tool for social workers

NHS England – FGM information

Home Office online e-learning (users are required to set up an account to access the module)

Online e-learning for health professionals (registration required):
https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/female-genital-mutilation/
https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/training-examinations/education/female-genital-mutilation-e-learning

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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