Eight FGM clinics to open across England

Eight clinics will be rolled out. Image: Forward/Chris Cronin

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A network of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) clinics are to open across England to help survivors of the practice, and to prevent more girls from being mutilated.

The eight centres will be located in Birmingham, Bristol, London and Leeds will offer physical, mental and emotional support for FGM survivors.

FGM is classed as the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

It is usually carried out on young girls from infancy up until the age of 15.

The NHS said over the past three months almost 1,000 women and girls in the UK were identified as having been impacted by FGM.

The majority of women who have been mutilated are usually identified by the NHS after they access maternity services.

The new clinics will seek to treat women before they become pregnant, as FGM can cause complications with childbirth.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he has been “incredibly moved” by stories of FGM survivors and is determined to do what he can to support them.

“It’s absolutely crucial we reach more women so they can access support services that take care of mental, emotional, physical and clinical needs,” he said.

“These clinics will have a profound impact – helping women who have been violated in the most traumatic of ways to move on from this violence and lead happier, healthier lives.”

Deputy chief nursing officer Hilary Garratt said the clinics were “for women, run by women”, and would be staffed by doctors, midwives, nurses and counsellors.

In February, a Ugandan mother became the first person in the UK to be convicted of FGM.

She mutilated her three-year-old daughter at their east London home in 2017 and was jailed for 11 years.

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