FGM is not an issue that can be decided on by personal preference – it is an illegal, extremely harmful practice and a form of child abuse and violence against women and girls.
As FGM is a form of child abuse, professionals have a statutory obligation under national safeguarding protocols (e.g. Working Together to Safeguard Children 2013) to protect girls and women at risk of FGM. It must always be remembered that fears of being branded ‘racist’ or ‘discriminatory’ must never weaken the protection that professionals are obliged to provide to protect vulnerable girls and women. If any child (under-18) in our care has symptoms or signs of FGM, or if we have good reason to suspect they are at risk of FGM having considered their family history or other relevant factors, they will be referred using standard existing safeguarding procedures, as is the procedure with all other instances of child abuse.
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION.pdf