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Female Genital Mutilation

The World Health organisation defines female genital mutilation (FGM) as ‘all procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.’ FGM is prevalent as a cultural ritual in 28 African countries as well as in parts of the Middle East and Asia. For this reason FGM is also known by alternative definitions which are better received in the communities that practice it, who do not see themselves as engaging in mutilation.

However, FGM is also recognised internationally as a violation of Human Rights and is illegal in the United Kingdom.

Responding to FGM

There is now a Mandatory Reporting Duty on professionals. If you are aware that a child or young person has been subjected to FGM you must inform the Police. Find out more on the FGM Mandatory Reporting Duty on Professionals page.

The three Safeguarding Children Partnerships across Sussex have worked together to develop FGM Pathways and Risk Assessment Tools to guide professionals:

To find out more about FGM, including categories and consequences of FGM, the Legal position regarding FGM and FGM Protection Orders see our FGM Facts page.

Where to get help

If you are concerned that a girl is at risk of FGM this must be shared with the MASH and/or the Police.

POLICE: 101 or in an emergency 999

Making a referral to the Integrated Front Door (IFD)

NSPCC FGM Helpline: 0800 028 3550


Supporting documents