South Yorkshire Police condemns "abhorrent" female genital mutilation crimes following landmark conviction
Female genital mutilation is back in the public eye following the conviction of Amina Noor, for assisting someone to carry it out back in 2006.
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Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a crime that subjects women and girls to brutal gender-based violence, and it is still happening in the UK. FGM is any procedure that removes part or all of the external female genitalia, or involves injury to the female genital organs, for non-medical reasons.
It is illegal, incredibly painful, and causes terrible physical and psychological problems.
Suzanne Jackson, South Yorkshire Police's force lead for tackling honour-based abuse, forced marriage and FGM, said: "FGM is abhorrent and against the law - and it needs to stay that way.
"It is not a cultural norm and we will continue to work closely with colleagues in social care, health and education to protect girls at risk from this barbaric practice. "It is gendered violence against women and girls and is totally unnecessary and extremely harmful ... I want to reassure people in South Yorkshire that we are taking proactive measures to prevent FGM in the first place, where we identify risk."
The recent conviction of Amina Noor has brought FGM back into the public eye. Noor, of Harrow, northwest London, was found guilty of assisting another person to carry out FGM.
She travelled with a three-year-old British girl to Kenya, and took her to a private house where she was subjected to FGM in 2006.
Under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, it is illegal for FGM to be performed in the UK or to take girls abroad for the purposes of FGM. The Serious Crime Act 2015 also makes it a crime to fail to protect a child from FGM.
Noor's conviction is the first of its kind in the UK, which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years.
South Yorkshire Police says it has established strong partnerships and worked to support victims of this crime, raise awareness, and work towards eradicating this form of abuse.
Jackson added: "Sadly, women and girls have already suffered FGM abroad and are living with the consequence in the UK and including in our county. We know that FGM also takes place in the UK.
"We understand it can be extremely difficult for you to talk about this, however, you have a voice and we will listen to you. Perpetrators of this heinous and wicked crime will continue this practice while victims and potential victims continue to live in fear.
"If you are concerned or worried that you or someone you know may be at risk of FGM, or even if you have any information about FGM that you feel may be useful, please contact us on 101 or 999 if it is an emergency."
Further information, advice and support is available by contacting the NSPCC’s FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550 or emailing [email protected].
Alternatively, contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk.
You can also get further information on FGM on The Five Foundation website here: https://thefivefoundation.org/fgm/.
Karma Nirvana, a national charity that specialises in help and support for victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage, is contactable on 0800 5999 247.
Ashiana can be contacted on 0114 255 5740.
If you wish to contact the police about concerns related to FGM but want to stay anonymous, you can do so by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.