What is an FGM Party?
Over recent months BHI has identified a new trend in the practice of FGM abuse in the UK, in which midwives from Africa are being flown into the country to carry out the illegal act of FGM on a number of young girls at a time. Recent NHS figures show more than 8,000 women across England have recently been identified as being victims of FGM, but as communities are becoming more aware of stricter border control policies to prevent young girls from being taken out of the country for FGM, some families are deciding to have their girls cut in the UK. Where a number of girls are cut in one session this can lead to a celebration to commemorate what is seen as a ‘coming of age tradition’, colloquially known as an ‘FGM Party’.
What do we know about FGM Parties?
Heather Nelson, Chief Executive of the Black Health Initiative, said: “We know of parties happening here in England, and in West Yorkshire we recently had to break one up, and we’ve stopped another from taking place.
“What we’re finding now is that where once girls were taken abroad to be cut, specialist midwives are now flown over and several girls are cut at the same time, which then leads to a celebration.”
“People will say why don’t you call the police if you hear about one of these parties? But when you call the police you find that not every officer has an awareness of what FGM is.”
What are we doing to stop FGM Parties?
We are campaigning hard to raise awareness about the prevalence of FGM Parties, working with West Yorkshire Police to identify and prevent this practice. Working closely with community leaders, schools and local healthcare providers we confirm our commitment to connect with communities, breaking down common myths about FGM and raising awareness about the devastating physical and emotional impact of the practice on victims and their families.
You can read more about this issue and BHI’s prevention campaigns in…