Female Genital Mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is any procedure that is designed to alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It’s sometimes known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘female genital cutting’. It is a form of child abuse, violence against women and it's illegal in the UK. FGM has serious health consequences, both at the time of the procedure and into adulthood. There are also long-term emotional and psychological effects from the lasting damage caused by FGM.
Female genital mutilation is an extremely serious crime. It illegal to:
- practice FGM in the UK
- assist a girl to mutilate her own genitalia
- take girls who are British Nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM regardless of whether it is lawful in that country
- do anything with the aim of arranging FGM to be carried out abroad.
The maximum penalty is 14 years in prison and/or a fine.
We would prefer to speak to you on the phone (call us on 101) or in person if you:
- feel you are at risk
- are suffering from the effects of FGM
- suspect a child may be at risk
- have any information at all relating to suspected acts of FGM.
If you know someone at risk, contact the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency if you think that a girl or young woman is in danger of FGM. You can also contact Social Services on 0344 800 8020 for welfare/safety concerns relating to a child, young person or vulnerable adult.
Please don’t be worried about talking to us, we will always listen to you and do everything we can to help.
Cover your tracks
As you surf the internet your internet browser will save certain information, such as the websites you have visited and images or publications you have downloaded. If you do not want people who may have access to your computer to know which websites you have been viewing, you should use a safe computer such as a friend’s, library or work.
There are different methods to hide your tracks and delete your history for each internet browser. We have provided information about how to delete your history from some of the most popular browsers, which can be viewed here.
It should be noted that if you are using someone else’s computer they may notice if you delete the computer history and cookies.
Disclaimer: If you don’t want someone to see that you’re viewing this website, you can click on the ‘escape’ button on the right, which will take you away from this page to the BBC news website.
Please be aware that the time it will take to load the BBC website will depend on your connectivity speed and device performance. It may be better to keep another document or website open in a new tab or window while browsing. If someone comes in the room and you don’t want them to see what you’re looking at, you can quickly switch views.
Help and Support
NSPCC FGM 24 hour Helpline
0800 028 3550
National FGM Centre
0208 498 7137
Daughter of Eve
A not for profit organisation that works to protect girls and young women who are at risk of FGM.
The Foundation for Women's Health charity provides support for women affected by FGM and works to eliminate the practice.
Other helpful links
NHS specialist clinics for FGM