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FGM – Recognise, Respond, Refer and Report

Nurses now have a duty to report cases of FGM. By building rapport with women affected they can make a big difference to damaged lives

Female genital mutilation (FGM) has been in the news lately following the introduction of mandatory reporting by all regulated professionals, including nurses, doctors and teachers, of cases of FGM.

As registered health care professionals we have a duty and a legal responsibility to report cases of FGM following the amendment to section 74 of the Serious Crime Act.

FGM is a complete violation of human rights, and constitutes severe bodily harm. If you receive disclosure or suspect FGM, stay open minded, be professional, engage and communicate, remain non-judgemental, build trust and rapport. Allow the patient time, dignity, and privacy, this will extremely difficult for them to discuss with you.

This will take time out of your busy shift, it will be challenging and a difficult journey, but will make an unbelievable difference to a victim’s life.

FGM is classified in four categories, each one illegal, painful,


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