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Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is when a female’s genitals are deliberately altered or removed for non-medical reasons. It is also known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘cutting’ but has many other names. FGM is carried out for several cultural, religious and social reasons. Some families and communities believe that FGM will benefit the girl in some way, such as preparing them for marriage or childbirth. FGM is a harmful practice, illegal practice in the UK, and isn’t required by any religion and has no health benefits.

FGM is a form of child abuse. It is dangerous and a criminal offence in the UK.

We know:

  • there are no medical reasons to carry out FGM
  • it is 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 is 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

For more information and further support about FGM, please follow the link below.

Contact the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service

West Essex: 0300 247 0122
South Essex: 0300 247 0013
North Essex: 0300 247 0015
Mid Essex: 0300 247 0014