In the UK, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is an illegal procedure that partially or totally removes women’s external genitalia. In some countries religious, social or cultural reasons can be given for FGM but in the UK, it is a form of abuse and is a criminal offence.
There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM and it doesn’t enhance fertility or make child birth safer. It is done to control women’s sexuality and can cause severe damage to physical and emotional health.
Report concerns about female genital mutilation
If you are worried that FGM may happen to you or someone you know, you can speak to a teacher, doctor, nurse, social worker or police officer in private and anything you say will be in confidence. To speak to a police officer please call 101.
In an emergency, always call 999. There will be support available and we will do everything we can to help.
Find out more about FGM on the NSPCC website.
The law on female genital mutilation
Practicing or assisting FGM is a serious offence in the UK and carries a maximum prison sentence of 14 years for anyone found guilty.
Regardless of whether someone is taken overseas for the mutilation, it is still against the law if it is done by a UK national or resident.