/ Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal. It is an extremely harmful practice with devastating health consequences for girls and women.

What is it?

  • FGM is the mutilation of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is also sometimes known as female circumcision, 'cutting' and 'closing circumcision'.

Why is FGM such a problem?

  • Some girls die from blood loss or infection as a direct result of the procedure. Women who have undergone FGM are also likely to experience difficulty in childbirth.

The law and FGM

  • FGM is a serious criminal offence in the UK with a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison for anyone found guilty of the offence.
  • Even if someone is taken overseas for the mutilation, it is still a crime in the UK if the mutilation is done by a UK national or permanent UK resident. It is also a crime if a UK national or permanent resident assists or gets a non-UK national or permanent resident to carry out the acts overseas on a UK national or permanent resident.

What happens to anyone found guilty of an FGM offence?

  • If you are guilty of an FGM offence - or of aiding and abetting such an offence you face a penalty of up to 14 years in prison, a fine, or both.

Help and support

  • If you are in the UK and have concerns that this may happen to you or someone you know, you can speak to a teacher, doctor, school nurse, social worker, police officer or any health, educational or social care professional in confidence. They will be able to help and support you.
  • Help is also available by way of FGMProtection Orders, which protects those girls or women who we suspect are at risk of the act.

Who you can contact

Many of these organisations also have a presence on social media

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