Female Genital Mutilation

Birmingham Against FGM Website - www.bafgm.org 


Please click the link for access to the Birmingham Health FGM Risk Assessment Tool

Female genital mutilation (FGM) also known as female circumcision or cutting, is a collective term for procedures which include the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs, or injury to the female genital organs, for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons.

FGM is medically unnecessary, is extremely painful, and has serious health consequences, both at the time of the procedure, and in later life. It can also be psychologically damaging.

A number of girls die as a direct result of the procedure, from blood loss or infection. In the longer term, women who have undergone some form of FGM are twice as likely to die in childbirth, and four times more likely to give birth to a still born child.

The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes it

  • illegal to practice FGM in the UK
  • illegal to assist a girl to mutilate her own genitalia
  • illegal to take girls who are British Nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for  FGM whether or not it is lawful in that country;
  • Illegal to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad;

An offence under this act has a maximum penalty of up to 14 years in prison and/or a fine.

The 2003 Act has been amended by the Serious Crime Act 2015, which adds new sections 3A, 4A, 5A, 5B and 5C.  These new provisions –

  • Introduce mandatory notification - a health care professional or teacher must make a “FGM Notification” to the police if, in the course of their duties, they discover that an act of FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18.
  • Create an offence of failing to protect a girl under the age of 16 from FGM (the offence is committed by a person who has parental responsibility for her or has assumed responsibility for her care);
  • Introduce Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders, which may include such provisions, restrictions or requirements as the court considers appropriate in order to protect a girl from FGM; or to protect a girl after FGM has been carried out; and
  • Give the victims of FGM a right of anonymity.

Female genital mutilation is physical abuse, and whilst it is perceived by parents not to be an act of hate, it is harmful, it is child abuse and it is unlawful. It has long lasting significant implications for those who have the procedure performed on them.

Five signs to look out for (particularly for organisations such as health and education)

  1. The family belongs to a community which practices FGM
    2. The family are making plans to go on holiday / requested extended leave from school 
    3. The child talks about a forthcoming special celebration
    4. The child / woman may have difficulty walking or sitting
    5. Their own mother or other siblings have had FGM

Call police on 101 if you have ingormation about FGM, believe a child maybe at risk or feel your child being cut and out of control. In an emergency, dial 999.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or the NSPCC's FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550

Birmingham Against FGM Steering Group 

Birmingham Against Female Genital Mutilation seeks to lead and co-ordinate multi-agency activity to prevent the practice of FGM:

  • by improving education, awareness and prevention work on FGM with agencies professionals, community groups, faith groups and education/youth services,
  •  by supporting agencies to improve the identification and protection of girls at risk to enable relevant safeguarding referrals to be made.

Practice guidance on dealing with female genital mutilation is available in the child protection procedures

If you would like further information on FGM, or if you need advice or support you can contact:

  • NSPCC FGM Helpline: 0800 028 3550 and emails sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (a resource for both community and professionals.
  • FORWARD (Foundation for Women's Health, Research and Development) 020 8960 4000 - www.forwarduk.org.uk
  • Daughters of Eve 07983030488 - www.dofeve.org/stopping-fgm.html
  • The Dahlia Project 020 7281 8970
  • Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid  0121 685 8684 and helpline number 0808 800 0028  -www.bswaid.org
  • African Well Woman's Service (Birmingham Heartlands Hospital) Alison Hughes 0781 7534274
    Weekly clinic Friday mornings
  • African Well Women's Service (Birmingham Women's hospital) Alison Hughes 07738 741614 
    Weekly clinic Thursday mornings.

    Further information

 The Department for Health has issued all GP practices in England  the ‘Female Genital Mutilation Resource Pack’.

The pack includes:

 Raising Awareness of Female Genital Mutilation – a training DVD developed by Health Education England, with materials from the existing eLearning for Healthcare’ elearning modules

Female Genital Mutilation Risk and SafeguardingGuidance for professionals published by the Department of Health in March 201

2 copies of the Patient Information Leaflet in English, available to order from DH Orderline in other languages and English.  Please note, all language versions are available to download on this page at NHS Choices

2 copies of A Statement Opposing Female Genital Mutilation also known as the FGM Health passport, available to order from Home Office or to download from NHS Choices

FGM Enhanced Dataset: Implementation Summary for GP Practices – for further information please see www.hscic.gov.uk/fgm.  Please note, all GP practices will be required to submit information under the Enhanced Dataset when treating patients who have FGM from October 2015, so we now have less than 6 months to support implementation.

If you’ve any questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright © 2013 Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board. All Rights Reserved.

Room B54, Council House Extension, Margaret Street, B3 3BU