At Risk of FGM?

It is illegal to perform or force someone to undergo FGM. If you fear that you, or someone you know, is at risk of FGM you can seek support from the following:

NSPCC – have a helpline dedicated to FGM that is anonymous and open 24/7, you can call them on: 0800 028 3550

Your Local Social Services Department – your local social services department will be able to protect you or provide support, you can contact them through your local council

Your Local Police Child Protection Unit – your local child protection unit will be able to protect you or provide support, you can contact them through your local police station. If you are in London you can also contact the Metropolitan Police Child Abuse Investigation Command on 020 7161 2888.

For more information on services available and one-to-one support you can call FORWARD on 0208 960 4000. We are open Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm or email us at [email protected].

FGM is a form of child abuse and is recognised as a human rights violation by the UN; there is no justification for it under any circumstances. FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 and it is also illegal to take a girl abroad to undergo FGM if they are a British citizen or habitually resident in the UK.

What happens if I report that a girl has either undergone FGM or is at risk of FGM in the UK?

If you report that someone is at risk or has undergone FGM this will be treated confidentially. Professionals are required to treat any reported case of FGM as a child protection issue and start a child protection referral. This means that the local authority’s children’s services will treat this as a serious concern and organise a meeting to assess the case and find ways to best protect the child. This investigation will also try to find out if other siblings in the family are at risk of FGM. Parents will be part of this meeting to discuss the concerns. A girl will NOT automatically be taken away from her home. This will only happen in rare cases where the parents fail to guarantee that they will not carry out FGM on their daughter.

If you have undergone FGM, here is a list of clinics where you can seek information and support: FGM Specialist Services.

You are also welcome to join our monthly information sharing coffee mornings which take place at our office on the first Wednesday of every month. The coffee mornings provide a space for likeminded women to share experiences, information and skills, please contact Kabung at [email protected] or call 0208 960 4000 for more information. If you are under 25 you may also be interested in joining our youth advocate groups in London, Manchester, Bristol or Birmingham. See here for more information.