What is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

FGM is when a female's genitals are deliberately altered or removed for non-medical reasons. It's also known as 'female circumcision' or 'cutting', but has many other names.

FGM is a form of child abuse. It's dangerous and a criminal offence in the UK. We know:

  • there are no medical reasons to carry out FGM
  • it's often performed by someone with no medical training, using instruments such as knives, scalpels, scissors, glass or razor blades
  • children are rarely given anaesthetic or antiseptic treatment and are often forcibly restrained
  • it's used to control female sexuality and can cause long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health.

FGM can happen at different times in a girl or woman's life, including:

  • when a baby is new-born
  • during childhood or as a teenager
  • just before marriage
  • during pregnancy.

Further information

NSPCC - Female Genital Mutilation

Lets Protect Our Girls Campaign – October 2018 NSPCC/Home Office

 

Last updated: 20 May 2020 10:33:21