NHS reveals 50 newly recorded cases of female genital mutilation in Northampton
'Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is child abuse. Despite being illegal for over 30 years, too many people are still being subjected to it and it is right that health services have started to properly record evidence of this horrendous practice," a spokesman for the NSPCC said.
FGM is a procedure known to be carried out on girls or women where the female genitals are purposely injured, cut or changed, for no medical reason.
New NHS Digital statistics show that there have been 50 newly recorded cases of FGM to NHS Nene CCG between 2016 and 2017, 45 of these girls, at the time, were under 18.
An NSPCC spokesman said: “Once more, these figures highlight that FGM continues to affect hundreds of girls and women living in communities across England.
“FGM is child abuse. Despite being illegal for over 30 years, too many people are still being subjected to it and it is right that health services have started to properly record evidence of this horrendous practice.
“The NSPCC Helpline is contacted more than once a day by people worried about girls who may have suffered, or are at risk of, FGM. It takes courage to report concerns as many feel ashamed or worry they will betray friends and family. But we need to end the silence that surrounds FGM to better protect children.”
In total, there were 5,391 newly recorded cases of FGM reported in England during 2016-17, according to NHS Digital statistics.
Women and girls born in Somalia account for more than one-third (35 per cent or 875 cases) of newly recorded cases of FGM with a known country of birth (2,504).
FGM has been illegal in the United Kingdom since 1985 and the law was strengthened in 2003 to prevent girls travelling from the UK and undergoing FGM abroad.
It became mandatory for all acute trusts to collect and submit to the FGM Enhanced Dataset from July, 1 2015 and for all mental health trusts and GP practices, from 1 October 2015.
Of the newly recorded cases, 112 involved women and girls who were born in the United Kingdom.
In 57 cases, the FGM was known to have been undertaken in the UK.
Where the nature of the UK procedures was known, around 50 were genital piercings.
The five to nine-year-old age group was the most common age range where FGM was undertaken.
Newly Recorded women and girls with FGM are those who have had their FGM information collected in the FGM Enhanced Dataset for the first time.
This will include those identified as having FGM and those having treatment for their FGM but 'newly recorded' does not necessarily mean that the attendance is the woman or girl's first attendance for FGM.
Female Genital Mutilation Enhanced Dataset, April 2016 to March 2017, experimental statistics includes information gathered from acute trusts, mental health trusts and GP practices.
Anyone concerned about someone who has suffered, or is at risk of, FGM, can contact the NSPCC FGM Helpline anonymously on 0800 028 3550 or visit nspcc.org.uk.