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NHS figures reveal 65 new cases of female genital mutilation recorded in Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 July 2017 | UPDATED: 08:36 05 July 2017

Some of the blunt and dirty tool used to carry out female genital mutilation (FGM) which were surrendered to Afnet, the anti-female genital mutilation network in Dodoma, Tanzania. (credit: Sala Lewis/Irish Aid)

Some of the blunt and dirty tool used to carry out female genital mutilation (FGM) which were surrendered to Afnet, the anti-female genital mutilation network in Dodoma, Tanzania. (credit: Sala Lewis/Irish Aid)

PA Archive/PA Images

There were 65 cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Redbridge recorded by NHS staff over the last year.

The figures from NHS Digital, which span from April 2016 to March 2017, reveal that 50 of the cases were reported by the victims to medical staff, and 5 of the women were pregnant at the time.

The statistic, which has decreased from the 85 cases reported in Redbridge last year, focuses on ‘newly recorded’ women and girls with FGM who have had their data collected for the first time.

FGM - which involves intentionally injuring female genitals for non-medical reasons - carries a jail sentence of up to 14 years.

In the borough, 15 women were recorded as having Type 1 FGM, which involves the full or partial removal of the clitoris.

The practice has been illegal in the United Kingdom since 1985, with the law being strengthened in 2003 to prevent girls travelling from the UK and undergoing FGM abroad.

All types of FGM are extremely painful and distressing and can lead to complications in pregnancy, renal impairment and damage to the reproductive system

Neighbouring boroughs Barking and Dagenham and Newham both report higher figures, with 125 and 100 cases recorded respectively over the same length of time.

But it is the eighth highest figure across London and has led to an NSPCCC spokesman urging people to come forward if they know the practice is being carried out.

He said: “Once more, these figures highlight that FGM continues to affect hundreds of girls and women.

“FGM is child abuse. Despite being illegal for over 30 years, too many people are still being subjected to it and it is right that health services have started to properly record evidence of this horrendous practice.

“The NSPCC helpline is contacted more than once a day by people worried about girls who may have suffered, or are at risk of, FGM.

“It takes courage to report concerns as many feel ashamed or worry they will betray friends and family.

“But we need to end the silence that surrounds FGM to better protect children.”

Anyone concerned can contact the NSPCC helpline anonymously on 0800 028 3550 or visit nspcc.org.uk.


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