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In this section:
|1. Female genital mutilation (FGM)|
|2. How to report FGM|
|3. FGM support organisations|
Female genital mutilation (FGM), also called ‘female cutting’ or ‘female circumcision, is when a female's genitals are deliberately altered or removed for non-medical reasons.
FGM happens because of various cultural, religious and social reasons. Some communities think that FGM will help the girl in some way, such as preparing her for marriage or childbirth.
FGM can cause severe psychological, emotional and medical problems. It can include extreme pain, shock, infection and many other long term serious medical issues.
There are no health benefits to FGM. Find out more about the medical aspects of FGM.
FGM is a form of child abuse and violence against women and it's against the law in the UK.
FGM is grouped into four main types:
The Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 makes it illegal to:
FGM carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.
There are a number of signs a girl could have been a victim of FGM:
Children often don't know that FGM is going to take place. This means there may be few warning signs before it happens. But, sometimes children do know in advance, which can lead to a change in their behaviour, such as seeking advice or help from professionals and friends.