5,700 new cases of FGM in England, first published figures show

Now mandatory for nurses and midwives to report suspected cases of female genital mutilation

The first-ever publication of statistics on female genital mutilation (FGM) has revealed 5,700 new cases in England over the past year.

Nurses and midwives must now report suspected cases of FGM. Picture: John Houlihan

Nurses, midwives, doctors and teachers are now legally required to report cases of FGM involving girls aged under 18 to the police.

Data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show 5,700 newly recorded cases of FGM in England during 2015-16.

The data also show that there were 8,660 total attendances in the same period where FGM was identified, or a medical procedure for FGM was carried out.

The figures show:

  • Women and girls born in Somalia account for 37% or 810 cases of newly recorded cases of FGM with a known country of birth.
  • Of the total number of newly recorded cases, 43 involved women and girls who self-reported to have been born in the United Kingdom.
  • In 18 cases, the FGM was undertaken in the UK.
  • A total of 582 cases (43%) involved girls aged five to nine years, making this the most common age range at which FGM was undertaken.
  • More than half of all cases relate to women and girls from the London NHS Commissioning region – 52 per cent (2,940) of newly recorded cases and 58 per cent (5,020) of total attendances.

RCN professional lead for midwifery and women’s health Carmel Bagness said the statistics show there is still much to do to eradicate the abuse.

‘Collecting and publishing these statistics is an important part of the fight against FGM,’ she said.

‘They can be used to better plan local services to meet the needs of women and girls, and to target training for nurses and midwives.

‘A lot has been achieved in the past few years, but these efforts must continue for as long as there are still women and girls subjected to this criminal abuse.’

Further information:

Health and Social Care Information Centre

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