FGM Figures Still Shockingly High
From 2016-2017 figures from the NHS show that 5,391 cases of FGM were recorded. There has been a drop from the previous year’s figures where from 2015-2016 there were 6,080 newly reported cases. This is still a shocking 11,471 cases within the last two years.
FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed when there is no medical reason for doing so. This procedure is most common in ages of 5-9 and is illegal in the UK. Latest statistics indicate that one third or 2,504 cases of girls who have this procedure are from Somalia. 112 women and girls who have had FGM were born in the UK.
The government website www gov.uk state that UK communities most at risk of FHM are Somali, Kenyan, Sierra Leonean, Egyptian, Nigerian, Eritrean, Yemeni, Afghani, Kurdish, Indonesian and Pakistani.
The act of FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 and there has been more exposure to this procedure through various media outlets. Bernardo’s run the National FGM Center and work with local authorities and other agencies such as social workers, police, and teachers as well as affected members of the community. They raise awareness of FGM and give guidance on how to identify girls and women who may be at risk. The Bernardo’s website states it received 191 family referrals (over 250 girls) between October 2015 – June 2017.
The concern is that funding could be cut and Luton Today report that The National FGM Centre believe continued funding is vital. “The Centre’s remit is to help eradicate FHM for girls and women living in England by 2013, but this will not happen if it closes down just two years after being set up by the Government. The Government has said it is committed to ending FGM and more funding needs to be found so the Centre’s work can continue…”
FGM is thankfully not common among our looked after children, although, our foster carers are offered training to gain a better understanding on the subject, the signs to look out for and where to go for further support.
If you are interested in fostering for an agency that truly cares then please contact us at Sunbeam Pride on 01582 218 228 and start your journey as a foster carer today.