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FGM can remain unreported for 25 years, data analysis reveals

Release Date: 06 Feb 2018

More than two thirds of all newly recorded cases of FGM reported – 70 per cent - are of women aged 35 or younger, new analysis by the National FGM Centre reveals today (February 6).

During the last financial year (April 2016 and March 2017), there were 5,391 newly reported cases of FGM in England. Analysis of the latest NHS data by the Centre, run jointly by Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association, also shows almost a sixth of all cases – 14 per cent – are reported by women aged under 25.

Significant amounts of older women remain affected by FGM also, with 29 per cent of all those reporting aged over 35.

It comes as the Government, NHS, charities and organisations across the country recognise today’s International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

The National FGM Centre has dedicated itself to tackling the crime of female genital mutilation. The Centre has worked with 254 families, educating and protection over 300 girls from 46 different nationalities between Sept 2015 – Jan 2018 from our local authorities partners in the East England and 13 from other Local Authorities in England. In a number of these cases the girls are survivors of FGM.

The Centre has also been involved in 14 FGM Protection Orders, working with parents/carers and local stakeholders to protect women and girls in their local communities.

Director of the National FGM Centre, Michelle Lee-Izu, said:

As the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM arrives, it’s clear that our work has never been more crucial. The scourge of female genital mutilation ruins lives and destroys communities. We are determined to do all we can to stamp it out from our society.

It’s concerning that some of the latest figures show that many young women and girls are at risk. At a time when they should be preparing for adult life and enjoying being young, no girl or young woman should be subject to genital mutilation.

Councillor Anita Lower, Chair of the Advisory Board for the National FGM Centre, said:

Councils are united with the National FGM Centre in their determination to end FGM from our local communities, and work alongside police, the NHS, and charities to make sure we do all we can to protect women and girls.

As we mark the National Day of Zero Tolerance, the work of the National FGM Centre has never been more essential. A specialist resource that can work in communities across the country to prevent FGM is invaluable, and we hope it is able to continue providing this specialist support.

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