Scale of barbaric FGM on babies in city revealed Sickening cultural practice condemned
TEN Birmingham baby girls under a year old have become victims of ‘barbaric’ female genital mutilation (FGM).
Shocking NHS figures show that in just three months, city doctors recorded 10 new cases of babies who had undergone the harrowing procedure.
All were not yet 12 months old when they underwent the sickening procedure in cases uncovered between April and June this year.
The figures also reveal that 15 children aged between one and four years old were also reported to be FGM victims by Birmingham medics.
In total, there were 140 new cases of the abuse in the city in those three months, according to data published by NHS Digital. In many cases, the ages of patients were not included, but of those recorded most victims were between five and nine years old.
FGM refers to procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasons.
In some cultures it is often carried out to ‘preserve virginity’ or as a ‘preparation for marriage’.
It has been illegal in the UK since 1985, and in 2003 the law was strengthened to prevent girls travelling from the UK and undergoing FGM abroad.
But doctors in Birmingham are recording an average two cases of FGM a day, with 74 per cent of them recorded as new victims. Across England 1,015 new cases were recorded in the same threemonth period, 40 per cent of them in London, and 14 per cent in Birmingham. Most of the women and girls affected were born in east and north Africa, where they underwent FGM before coming to Great Britain. But 25 cases recorded in England from April to June are believed to have been carried out in the UK National childrens’ charity the NSPCC condemned the practice as barbaric abuse, and said it was all too common. “Female genital mutilation is a barbaric practice that leaves its victims physically and mentally scarred,” said Ally Sultana, NSPCC Midlands campaigns manager.
“We urge any young women or girls dealing with the physical and emotional impact of FGM to seek help and support. These latest figures show that sadly this abuse is all too commonplace.
“Since the launch of our FGM helpline in 2013, we have received hun- dreds of calls from members of the public, as well as professionals who have questions about how best to support women and girls at risk of this complex form of abuse.”
“Many people don’t report their concerns because. they are ashamed and worried about betraying friends and family,” added Ally Sultana.
“That’s why it’s so important that communities, families and professionals work together and speak up to help break the silence that surrounds FGM.”