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Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation (or FGM as it is known) is a procedure that involves the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM is also sometimes known as 'female genital cutting' or 'female circumcision'. Communities tend to use local names for referring to this practice including 'sunna'.

FGM is considered child abuse in the UK and a violation of the human rights of girls and women.  The summer holidays is a peak period for cases of forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

The UK Government has signed a number of international human rights laws against FGM, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


The Female Genital Mutilation Helpline is a UK-wide service. It operates 24/7, and is staffed by specially trained child protection helpline counsellors who can offer advice, information, and assistance to members of the public and to professionals. Counsellors will also be able to make referrals, as appropriate, to statutory agencies and other services.

The helpline can be contacted on:

0800 028 3550 and emails sent to

The aim of this specialist helpline is to improve the safeguarding of children in the UK by increasing the detection and protection of children at risk or who have become victims of female genital mutilation. It will also facilitate, as necessary, the sharing of information with police and relevant agencies so that intelligence can be gathered and appropriate action taken against those who facilitate female genital mutilation against children. It will work in the same way as the main NSPCC helpline.

Petals - the UK's first FGM web app

This app is for young people both girls and boys living in the UK who want to find out more about Female Genital Mutilation and how it might affect them and others they may know.  The app is now live and is available here

FGM - Film

A new film has been launched to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation and encourage people to report concerns.  The video can be found on YouTube here

For Professionals :

Click on the links to view:

Safeguarding Children logo