SAFEGUARDING GIRLS AGAINST FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION
FGM is child abuse and against the law
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is any procedure that alters or injures a girl or woman’s genital organs for non-medical reasons. The procedure is illegal in the UK, and it is also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad to perform the procedure. FGM is usually carried out between infancy and 15 years of age, and may affect pupils in our school. The Oxford Academy staff have been trained to recognise the risk factors involved and will contact the necessary authorities if we believe that a child is a risk.
FGM occurs mainly in Africa and to a lesser extent, in the Middle East and Asia. Although it is believed by many to be a religious issue, it is a cultural practice. There are no health benefits. Communities particularly affected by FGM in the UK include girls from: Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Egypt, Nigeria, Eritrea, Yemen, Indonesia and Afghanistan.
UPDATE: The female genital mutilation (FGM) mandatory reporting duty, which requires teachers, social workers and health professionals to report 'known' cases of FGM to the police, came into force as of 31 October 2015.
If parents wish to find out more information about FGM then the NSPCC has a well-informed section on their website http://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-abuse-and-neglect/female-genital-mutilation-fgm/. In addition the NSPCC has a 24-hour telephone helpline - 0800 0283550 - for anyone who has concerns that a young person is at risk.
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