500 cases in a month. And that’s only who they are treating; the actual number is likely to be astronomically higher.
However, although FGM is illegal in the UK, young girls born in Britain also live with the threat of FGM with an estimated 20,000 at risk of cutting each year.
Last year the Government’s forced marriage unit gave advice in more than 1,300 cases.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, writing for The Telegraph’s website said it is “heart breaking” that the “hidden crimes” of FGM and forced marriage still exist in society and still threaten the next generation of girls.
Yes, Theresa May is so concerned that she barred Robert Spencer and me from the UK so that such things would not be discussed in a candid manner.
Among the measures that were discussed at the summit are new laws enabling police to prosecute parents if they fail to prevent their daughter being cut. Victims will also be granted lifelong anonymity from the time an allegation of FGM is made.
At least 1,700 new cases — we see what a difference it has made.
Dissemblers and deceivers claim that FGM is cultural phenomenon, not religious. But the fact is that it is an Islamic cultural phenomenon.
Five hundred women and girls living in England have been identified as victims of female genital mutilation in just one month, new figures show.
And campaigners have warned the numbers represent ‘just the tip of the iceberg’, estimating more than 130,000 women and girls in the country are affected by the issue.
Female genital mutilation (FGM), is a harmful traditional practice that involves the partial or total removal of the female genitalia.
Campaigners told MailOnline today these figures will ‘increase significantly’ as more women access health care.
The statistics, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, include data from 126 eligible acute NHS trusts in England.
They reveal 2,242 active cases, where women and girls are currently being treated for FGM, while 499 new cases were identified in January.
From September last year to January this year, 2,603 new cases were reported nationally – 44 of which were in girls younger than 18.
In April last year, hospitals across England were told to start recording all cases of FGM they identified.
Mary Wandia, FGM programme manager at campaign group Equality Now, told MailOnline that FGM is ‘child abuse and an extreme human rights violation’.
‘Today’s figures are just the tip of the iceberg,’ she warned. ‘We will see these figures increasing significantly as more women access healthcare.
‘The figures also show that training of those who come in contact with girls at risk of FGM – and those affected by it – is urgently needed.
‘Health, social and education professionals don’t have clear pathways and don’t always know what to do.
‘FGM is child abuse, a human rights violation and an extreme human rights violation.
‘We have made huge progress on ensuring a joined-up approach to preventing it in the UK. It is no longer in the shadows and has is clearly on the national agenda.
WHAT IS FGM?
Female genital mutilation is the practice in which some or all of the female genitals are removed, typically with a blade or a razor and sometimes without anaesthesia.
This includes removing the clitoral and the fold of skin above it, and removing labia – the inner ‘lips’ of the vagina.
In the most severe form, the inner and outer labia are removed and the opening of the vagina is closed with a small hole so the woman can pass urine and menstrual blood.
Sometimes the vagina is then cut open for sex or childbirth.
Women sometimes bleed to death or can be left with horrifying health effects, such as infections, chronic pain, cysts, infertility and problems giving birth.
‘We just need to keep working to ensure that the law is properly implemented and that every single girl is protected.’
Ms Wandia said training for medical professionals is ‘essential’ in helping them recognise those women and girls affected – as well as those at risk.
She said: ‘Survivors of FGM urgently need physical, emotional and psychological support.’
Last year, Home Secretary Theresa May said that in the UK, 137,000 women are living with the consequences of FGM and a 60,000 are at risk.
The figures she cited, from a report from City University London in collaboration with Equality Now, estimated that 10,000 girls aged under 15 who migrated to England and Wales are likely to have undergone FGM.
In July, the Government launched a £1.4 million programme to tackle FGM, with the aim of ending the practice within a generation.
This included bringing in laws to prosecute parents if they fail to prevent their daughters being cut.
It also requires collecting data about FGM in hospitals in England and training both health professionals and police officers to respond appropriately to cases of FGM.
Ms Wandia said: ‘This is not an issue that can be ignored any longer.
‘We also found that 60,000 girls born to mothers affected by FGM, lived in England and Wales in 2011.
‘African countries like Kenya and Burkina Faso have led the way on ending FGM globally.
‘We can end it within this generation but we need to continue to keep up the pressure to ensure governments are held accountable to their obligations.’
Meanwhile the children’s charity, the NSPCC, said since setting up FGM dedicated helpline in June 2013, they have received 521 calls from the public and professionals.
Of those, 214 of the cases have been referred to the police and children’s services.
John Cameron, head of child protection operations at the NSPCC, said: ‘FGM is a live public health issue and it is vital all health professionals are trained to spot the signs of FGM, and that girls who are subjected to this brutal practice get the post-traumatic support they deserve.
‘We need to ensure doctors, midwives and other healthcare professionals are working effectively together with children’s services to support and protect FGM victims and their family members.’
The World Health Organisation recognise FGM as a ‘violation of the human rights of girls and women’.
‘It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women,’ the agency said.
‘The practice violates a person’s rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.’
It is estimated that between 100 and 140 million girls and women around the world have undergone genital mutilation.
Each year around three million women are thought to be at risk.
FGM ranges from the partial or total removal of the clitoris, to the removal of the entire clitoris and the cutting of the labia minora.
In it’s most extreme form, all external genitalia is removed and the two sides of a woman or girl’s vulva are stitched together.
FGM is generally done without anaesthetic, and can have lifelong health consequences including chronic infection, severe pain during urination, menstruation, sexual intercourse, and childbirth and psychological trauma.
FGM has been a crime in the UK for 30 years, but there have been no convictions for the practice.
Last month the first trial took place in England.
A jury took fewer than 25 minutes to acquit Dhanuson Dharmasena, 32, of carrying out the potentially lethal procedure on a new mother.
Another man, Hasan Mohamed, 41, was also cleared of abetting the offence.
Anyone who is concerned or needs advice can call the NSPCC’s FGM helpline on 0800 0283550 or email [email protected]
Courtesy of Pamela Geller.