New figures published this week [starting 6 June] by the Health & Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) on the incidence of female genital mutilation (FGM), show 1,242 newly recorded cases of FGM in England between January and March of this year.
Commenting on the figures, Janet Fyle, Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “These figures show that we need renewed and focused efforts to tackle FGM. This has to be backed by a national action plan so that all sectors and all professionals see FGM as their business, and protecting girls from such abuses becomes a normal part of their practice.
“Every one of these numbers is a girl or young woman who has been subjected to abuse. It’s shocking that 29 of the new recorded cases (2%) are girls under 18. It is even more of a concern that 11 of those were girls born in the UK.
“This is why all healthcare professionals need to be vigilant in identifying women and girls at risk. They can then provide them with support and appropriate care and referral, and collaborate in the collection of data.
“Health professionals must report all cases of known FGM in girls under eighteen to the police. It is important that regulated professionals comply with their mandatory duty and legal obligation to report FGM cases.
“These statistics help us to determine where resources are needed, and where more concerted action needs to focus. London in particular needs to make even greater efforts to tackle this issue.”
The HSCIC statistics can be viewed here.