Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) - The Important Statistics
Although the law has recently been bolstered to reduce the incidence of FGM of young girls it may be some while before we see a reduction in the number of young women suffering at the hands of the cutters. In the meantime, statistics released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre reveal the extent of young girls being cut, without medical justification for doing so.
The most recent results cover the period April 2015 to 2016, which rely on 112 NHS Trusts and 38 GP practices providing data. Those reports show 5,702 newly recorded cases of FGM in the period identified. More than half of the cases related to women and girls living in the London area. Nearly half of the girls cut were between the ages of 5 and 9 years.
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Interestingly, self-report was the most frequent method of FGM identification, accounting for 73% of all cases. Had it not been for pregnancy (87%) one wonders if those young women would have volunteered their physical mutilation. Hopefully the recent legislation changes will result in reports being made by professionals, who now have a duty to report where they observe physical signs of cutting.
An analysis of FGM in UK communities
It has previously been stated that many of the girls cut come from Africa and this is demonstrated in the latest statistics, with 90% of the women and girls being born in Africa and 6% in Asia. Somalia accounts for more than one-third of all newly recorded women and girls, alongside Eritrea, Sudan, Nigeria and Gambia being accounting for large volumes. Whilst it may be thought that most victims will have been born abroad, 43 of the cases were of girls born in the UK. Furthermore, 18 of those girls were cut in the UK. It is therefore worrying that practices are continuing despite a change of cultural and statutory influence.
These statistics are alarming, particularly those where the girls have been born in the UK and the FGM has been carried out here. Hopefully the Serious Crime Act 2015, making it a duty for specific professionals to make a report to the police, where either the girl informs the professional that they have been subjected to FGM or they observe physical signs appearing to show that a girl has been mutilated, will help to reduce and ultimately eliminate this dreadful crime.
Continuing to expose the incidence of FGM will help raise the profile of the issue and deter those who would cut girls. Public Health and Innovation Minister Nicola Blackwood said:
FGM devastates lives, and we are committed to ending this abusive practice.
Too often FGM is a hidden crime so to help us do this, we must know the scale of the problem which is why we are collecting data on FGM across the NHS.
This means we can protect those at risk, provide support to survivors and ultimately end this crime once and for all.
If you or someone you know has suffered by FGM, that person may be entitled to compensation. Such compensation may help the girl recover from the effects of the treatment, particularly if private medical care is available to maximise rehabilitation, both in physical and psychological terms.
Contact our child abuse solicitors today. We offer a No-Win No-Fee Agreement so there is no financial risk involved if you are not successful. To discuss your case or to make an appointment please contact us on 0333 123 9099. Alternatively, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our online form