FGM – Guidance

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM is also known as female circumcision or female genital cutting, is defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the range of procedures which involve “the partial or complete removal of the external female genitalia or another injury to female genital organism whether form cultural or any other non-therapeutic reason”. It is a deeply rooted tradition widely practiced among specific populations in Africa and parts of Asia, which served as a complex form of social control of women’s sexual and reproductive rights. Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15, and occasionally on adult women.

FGM is practiced in 29 African countries and therefore girls from those countries living in the UK are at risk of FGM and include those form; Somali, Kenyan, Ethiopian, Sierra Leonean, Sudanese, Egyptian, Nigerian, Eritrean, Yemeni, Kurdish and Indonesian women and girls. Girls from non-African communities living in the UK who are also likely to be at risk include; Yemeni, Iraq Kurd, Indonesian and Pakistani. FORWARD UK estimates that’s as many as 6,500 girls are at risk of FGM within the UK every year.

Different countries have different words for terms and words for FGM. The LSCB website has a table which came from here; http://www.forwarduk.org.uk/key-issues/fgm/definitions

FGM is believed to be a way of ensuring virginity and chastity. It is used to safeguard girls from sex outside marriage and from having sexual feelings. Although FGM is practiced by secular communities, it is most often claimed to be carried out in accordance with religious beliefs. FGM is not supported by any religious doctrine.

Short term health problems include severe pain, difficulty passing urine, bleeding, infection and death. For some types of FGM long-term problems include difficulty passing urine and long painful periods. For some types there may be a long scar, which can make sex and childbirth difficult. Recurrent infections can lead to infertility. Women ay also feel angry, depressed and suffer from post traumatic stress disorder.

FGM is a complex issue – despite the harm it causes, many women and men from practicing communities consider it to be normal to protect their cultural identity.

How to respond to concerns; please follow the referral pathway.

FGM Helpline Email: fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk
Telephone: 0800 028 3550

The lead professionals for Harrow (health based )are:

Grace Nartey


( +44 (0) 20 8869 5046

Tel  07825606008


Florence Acquah


Mobile: 07879444682

Tel: 0208 869 3692/3695


Resources and Documents:


Some of you will be aware of the additions made to the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, introduced through the Serious Crimes Act 2015.  I particularly want to bring your attention to the new duty for regulated professionals to report to the police any concerns of FGM appearing to have been carried out on a girl aged under 18 (at the time of the discovery).  This duty comes into force on the 1st of October 2015.  

The duty applies to professionals working within healthcare, social care and teachers.  A useful factsheet has been produced by the Home Office (attached).  Please ensure that this information and the new duties are disseminated and understood by relevant practitioners.

The Home Office is currently producing updated guidance – including agency specific guidance, following a recent consultation process and this will be published on our website as soon as it becomes available.

Download FGM Factsheet – Serious Crimes Act 2005

Mandatory Reporting of Female Genital Mutilation – Procedural Information – Download

FGM Fact Sheet – Download

FGM Pathway Plan – Download

Multi-Agency FGM Guidelines – Download

London FGM Procedures – Download

National FGM Poster – Download

National FGM Leaflet – Download

FGM Resource Pack:
The FGM resource pack has lots of excellent case studies and resources for sector specific professionals, leaflets to use in different languages. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/female-genital-mutilation-resource-pack/female-genital-mutilation-resource-pack

FGM films for healthcare professionals

The Department of Health has published a set of films about female genital mutilation (FGM) for healthcare professionals. Topics covered include: the impact of FGM on mental health; mandatory reporting; personal experiences of FGM and how healthcare professionals can support victims.

Further information:  FGM resources for healthcare professionals

“Ending FGM – its everybody’s business”

Everybody’s Business is a youth-led website that raises awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM); provides regular comment about UK and global actions to end the practice and most importantly provides space for young people to add their voice to the FGM campaign. Read more about this website.

By acting together we can make ending FGM everybody’s business.

Sing. Shout. Smile. Laugh. Live. #EndFGM


FGM App: Petals
This new App has been created to help protect young girls and women from female genital mutilation (FGM). It includes: information about FGM; personal stories from those who have been affected; links to educational films; a quiz; and tips on how to get involved in campaigning to end the practice. it provides details of where those affected or at risk can go to get help and advice and provides access the NSPCC’s National FGM Helpline at the touch of a button. It works across most mobile devices.


The organisation, Rights of Women, has published a briefing on female genital mutilation and the law.


Norbury School- FGM video campaign

To raise awareness of Female genital mutilation (FGM), Norbury School have  created a successful video campaign.

See link below for the FGM video:


The school had six months of regular meetings with stakeholders including health services, children’s services, their parent group, the voluntary sector, the police, cluster schools and charities to understand the facts, the various educational approaches, training and engagement with communities.

Following these meetings the school created their own FGM lesson plans, resources and approaches which they were shared with their stakeholders and modified as required.
All Year 5 & 6 pupils’ parents met the school and reviewed the resources before the lessons were piloted and INSETs were held for their staff, governors and parents.


There is a free E-learning module on FGM powered by the Virtual College



The Guardian reports on three sisters, aged 6, 9 and 12, who have become subject to a new-style protection order preventing them from being taken out of the UK to under female genital mutilation (FGM).
Source: Guardian 24 July 2015

The Home Office and the Department for Education have published a factsheet on mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation and what it means for professionals affected by the duty.
Source: Home Office 29 January 2016


Other useful local contacts:

FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development)
Forward UK is an African Diaspora women led UK-registered campaign and support charity dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the sexual and reproductive health and rights of African girls and women

Southall Black Sisters 21 Avenue Road, Southall, UB1 3BL
Email: info@southallblacksisters.co.uk
Phone: Helpline: 020 8571 0800 Enquiries: 020 8571 9595
Metropolitan Police Service; Project Azure 0207 230 8324

FGM Leaflets to download

The Department of Health has published a leaflet giving information about FGM in the following languages:

More about FGM – English version (PDF, 248Kb)

Mwy o wybodaeth am FGM – Welsh version (PDF, 175Kb)

ስለ ኤፍ ጂ ኤም ተጨማሪ መረጃ – Amharic version (PDF, 1.09Mb)

مزيد من المعلومات حول ختان الإناث – Arabic version (PDF, 177Kb)

FGM اطلاعات بیشتر درباره – Farsi version (PDF,221Kb)

Renseignements complémentaires sur les MGF – French version (PDF, 182Kb)

FGM زانیاری زیاتر دەربارەی – Kurdish Sorani version (PDF, 246Kb)

Macluumaad dheeraad ah ee ku saabsan FGM – Somali version (PDF, 196Kb)

Habari zaidi kuhusu ukeketaji wa wanawake – Swahili version (PDF, 176Kb)

ብዛዕባ ኤፍ ጂ ኤም ተወሳኺ ሓበሬታ – Tigrinya version (PDF, 766Kb)

ایف جی ایم کے بارے میں مزید معلومات – Urdu version (PDF, 188Kb)

What to do if you are worried about a child. To discuss concerns or make a referral: