01733863744 pscb@peterborough.gov.uk

What is FGM?

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined as “all procedures (not operations) which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons” (World Health Organisation, 1996)
FGM is abuse of the human rights of girls and women and is therefore a child protection issue. It is illegal in the UK to subject a child to female genital mutilation (FGM) or to take a child abroad to undergo FGM.
girls under the age of 15 at risk of FGM every year
girls under 15 who have migrated to England and Wales having undergone FGM
maximum sentence of years in prison for carrying out FGM or helping it to take place

If you suspect that any girl in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough is at immediate risk of being subjected to any form of FGM you must take action to report it immediately by contacting the police on 999.

FGM constitutes child abuse and causes physical, psychological and sexual harm

Indicators that a girl may be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation

She has a parent from a practising community.
She and her family have a low integration into a community.
The mother or any sisters have experienced Female Genital Mutilation.
She is withdrawn from PSHE.
She has talked about, or you know about the arrival of a female family elder.
She talks about it to other children.
She refers to a ‘special procedure’ or ‘special occasion’ or ‘becoming a woman’.
She is out of the country for a prolonged period.
She is taking a long holiday to her country of origin or another country where the practice is prevalent. (Parents may talk about it too).

Indicators that a girl has experienced Female Genital Mutilation

A girl has problems walking/standing/sitting.
She spends a lot of time in the bathroom/toilet.
She has bladder or menstrual problems
She has prolonged or repeated absences from school.
She has a reluctance to undergo medical examinations.

To support professionals and parents Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Safeguarding Children Boards have produced a resource pack that are available to download


More information on local training on FGM is available from our Multi-agency Training Programme

The Home Office have issued free online training which can be accessed at https://www.fgmelearning.co.uk/


Mandatory reporting of FGM*

Duty applies to regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales. Requires these professionals to make a report to the police if, in the course of their professional duties, they:

  • are informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her; or
  • observe physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 and have no reason to believe that the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth.

*introduced in Section 5B of the FGM Act 2003, as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015

Professionals Not Subject to the Mandatory Reporting Duty

While the duty is limited to the specified professionals described above, non-regulated practitioners still have a general responsibility to report cases of FGM, in line with wider safeguarding frameworks.  If a non-regulated professional becomes aware that FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18, they should still share this information within their local safeguarding lead, and follow their organisation’s safeguarding procedures.

National FGM resources

There is a helpline operated by the NSPCC, available 365 days a year and 24 hours a day, specialising in responses to FGM. It is staffed by specially trained child protection helpline counsellors who can offer advice, information and assistance to professionals and members of the public.

Tel: 0800 028 3550 Email: fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk

‘Together we can end FGM’: poster

‘Together we can end FGM’: wallet card

FGM Poster

FGM: The Facts Leaflet

‘Tackling FGM in the UK: Intercollegiate recommendations for identifying, recording and reporting’ is published by The Royal College of Midwives (2013)

HM Government Multi Agency Practice Guidelines: Female Genital Mutilation (2014)

The government FGM webpages are available at www.fco.gov.uk/fgm, and an email address has been set up at fgm@fco.gov.uk for anyone with concerns or questions about FGM.

Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD)

NHS specialist clinics for FGM

Daughters of Eve