Slough Borough Council is supporting International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on February 6, by raising awareness of the support available to anyone affected by FGM.
FGM is described by the World Health Organisation as ‘all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.’
FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK since the Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985, which was later replaced by the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. However, despite this, there has only ever been one prosecution related to FGM under this act.
Slough Borough Council works very closely with the Slough Integration Service, East Berkshire CCG, The Garden Clinic, Slough Children’s Trust, local GPs, Slough refugee support and Frimley Health Care Foundation Trust to raise awareness within the local community that FGM is illegal and constitutes child abuse.
The partners also work to support women who have had the procedure carried out in their country of origin, and, provide advice and training to practitioners to ensure they can identify when a child is at risk of FGM, and respond quickly to protect the child.
Cllr Pavitar K Mann, cabinet member for consumer protection and regulation, said: “We want to make sure we do everything we can to stop this barbaric practice happening to girls and women in Slough. This is why we are supporting the #EndFGM campaign.
“Not only it is illegal, it inflicts severe pain and causes health and fertility complications for women later in life. It is a violation of the human rights of girls and women and has to stop, now.”
If you have been affected by FGM or any other harmful practice, or know anyone at risk of FGM, visit: wwwsloughfamilyservices.org.uk and type in FGM in the search field. There are a range of organisations listed that can provide help and advice.