International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation takes place on  6 February 2017. Female Genital Mutilation – FGM, is sometimes referred to as Female Circumcision or Cutting, and is defined by the World Health Organisation as the range of procedures which involve ‘the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or any other non-therapeutic reason’.

Up to 6,500 girls are at risk of FGM in the UK each year. Globally, it is estimated that at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM.

FGM is a harmful practice that isn’t required by any religion and there are no religious texts that say it should be done. There are no health benefits of FGM and immediate effects include: severe pain, shock, bleeding, infections including tetanus, HIV and hepatitis B and C, inability to urinate and damage to nearby organs including the bowel.

FGM can sometimes cause death and long-term effects include: chronic vaginal and pelvic infections, menstrual problem, persistent urine infections, kidney damage and possible failure, cysts and abscesses, pain during sex, infertility, complications during pregnancy and childbirth

Girls and women who have been subjected to FGM also suffer serious psycho-sexual, psychological and social consequences.

FGM is illegal in the UK, and it is also illegal to take a girl or woman out of the country for the purposes of  female genital mutilation. Anyone found guilty of the offence faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

FGM is child-abuse. It is a violation of the human rights of girls and women


Further reading: 



The Home Office have a free online training package on dealing with female genital mutilation which can be accessed at

The LSCB, in association with the Safe in the City Partnership, hold a series of training sessions on Harmful Practices. You can book your place through the Brighton & Hove Learning Gateway:


If you are concerned about a child in Brighton & Hove call the Front Door for Families on 01273 290400.

If they are in immediate danger contact Sussex Police 

The @NSPCC also have an anonymous 24-hour FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550