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Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) also known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘cutting’ is a term for procedures which partially or totally remove external genital organs, or cause injury to them, for cultural or non-medical reasons. 

FGM is considered to be child abuse in the UK

While some parents may not think it’s harmful, it’s medically unnecessary, extremely painful and has serious health consequences. 

A number of girls die from blood loss or infection. In the longer term, they’re twice as likely to die in childbirth, and four times more likely to give birth to a stillborn child.

The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes it illegal to:

  • practice FGM in the UK
  • assist a girl to mutilate her own genitalia, whether in the UK or abroad
  • take British Nationals or permanent UK residents abroad for FGM whether or not it’s lawful in that country

It’s also illegal for UK nationals or permanent UK residents to:

  • perform FGM on anyone overseas
  • help FGM be carried out abroad

FGM offences can lead to 14 years in prison and/or a fine.

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