Latest figures show a large number of newly reported FGM cases
FGM stands for Female Genital Mutilation and this is the deliberate cutting of the female genitals for no medical reason. This is illegal in the United Kingdom and has been since 1985, however because of deep traditional and cultural beliefs held by some families FGM is still happening today. FGM is usually carried out on infants and children up to around the age of 15, it is classed as child abuse and therefore as early years practitioners, we all have a huge responsibility to safeguard children from this happening. It can leave not only emotionally issues but also lifelong physical problems and risks.
The latest figures released by the NHS (NHS, 04/07/2017) shows that there were over 1000 new reported cases, although this number does not mean 1000 new cases had taken place in the first quarter of this year, it does mean that over 1000 new women have been discovered who have had FGM take place. This is a shockingly high number and shows that so many women and children are affected by this.
Being aware that this takes place, those most at risk and the signs it may be about to happen or have already happened means children and women can be supported and possibly any future cases prevented. There is a great FGM pack available here, it includes a poster which can be displayed on safeguarding boards in reception areas, also a fact booklet, again this is great when displayed in a reception area or the staff room, and also a safeguarding and risk assessment booklet. Ensure your setting is doing their piece to safeguard the women and children in your community and make everyone aware.