NHS - Female genital mutilation
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the term used to describe procedures that involve the removal of part or all of the external female genitalia. These procedures are also referred to as 'cutting', 'female circumcision' and 'initiation'.
FGM is a harmful "cultural" practice, but it is not a religious one. Carrying out this practice has been a criminal offence in the UK since 1985.
If you are worried about someone who is at risk of FGM or has had FGM, you must share this information with social care or the police. It is then their responsibility to investigate and protect any girls or women involved.
If you're under pressure to have FGM performed on your daughter, ask your GP, health visitor or other healthcare professional for help, or contact the NSPCC helpline.
As with other forms of child abuse, these crimes often remain hidden and unreported, as children are too ashamed or afraid to speak out.
Who to contact
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