Analysis reveals 5,000 new cases of female genital mutilation
There were over 5,000 newly reported cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in England in the year to last March, according to an analysis of NHS Digital figures by the National FGM Centre
There were over 5,000 newly reported cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in England in the year to last March, according to an analysis of NHS Digital figures by the National FGM Centre.
It also said FGM can remain unreported for up to 25 years.
The analysis reveals:
- 123 NHS trusts and 74 GP practices submitted one or more FGM attendance records in 2016-17.
- In four-fifths of newly recorded cases, FGM was carried out on girls under age ten.
- Nearly 70% of newly recorded FGM cases are of women aged 35 or younger, and 14% are under 25.
Determination to end FGM
The National FGM Centre, run jointly by Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association, has worked with over 250 families, educating and protecting over 300 girls of 46 different nationalities since 2015.
National FGM Centre advisory board chair and local councillor Anita Lower said: ‘Councils are united with the National FGM Centre in their determination to end FGM in our local communities and work alongside police, the NHS and charities to make sure we do all we can to protect women and girls.'
Role of school nurses
RCN head of nursing Wendy Preston said school nurses had a vital part to play in the battle to eradicate FGM.
'FGM is child abuse, and the number of women and girls subjected to it is not falling fast enough.
‘Mandatory reporting and compulsory education on sex and relationships are important weapons in the fight against FGM, and school nurses play a vital role in educating children and young women and spotting those who may be at risk.’
Ms Preston said recent figures showed the number of school nurses had fallen by 16% since 2010, largely as a result of cuts to local authority health budgets.
‘It is wrong that vulnerable children pay the price for funding reductions and poor workforce planning.
‘The government must act to attract and retain school nurses, to help address the problem at grassroots level, and maintain momentum in the fight to eradicate FGM.’
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