FGM-girlCommenting on the report, Janet Fyle, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This report recognises that we have a lot more to do to end the illegal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK."

“There is no doubt that the lack of prosecutions in the UK for FGM is concerning" she added. "Prosecutions will be an important element contributing towards ending FGM, and would send a clear message to perpetrators that the UK has a zero tolerance approach to FGM. Prosecutions would also reassure those who report FGM that systems are in place to respond, represent and protect them against this abuse."

“However, we cannot ignore the fact that many survivors are finding it difficult to access health care and access to psychological support is limited. In particular, we must address the need for culturally appropriate physiological services for survivors of FGM. They are not being provided at anywhere near the levels required. This is an area that requires equal focus and an urgent response by service providers and commissioners."

“We need much better collection of data and reporting of FGM so that we can really understand the scale of the problem, and so that resources are targeted more effectively. The recently published figures* showed that many services are still not providing data and they should be compelled to do so."

“Despite the gains and progress that has been made in the fight against FGM, we still have a long way to go. We must not - and cannot - relax our efforts to end this practice of violence against girls and women."

“There also needs to be greater collaboration across all the government agencies and services so that our collective focus is on preventing FGM, rather than relying on prosecutions alone. In reality the harm done to the girls and women from FGM cannot be undone.”

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.