Female Genital Mutilation

What is female genital mutilation (FGM)?

“Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or cause injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”

(World Health Organisation, 2014).

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in the UK. It’s also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM or to help someone trying to do this.

The maximum sentence for carrying out FGM or helping it to take place is 14 years in prison.

How prevalent is FGM?

The World Health Organisation 2014 estimates that between 100 and 140 million girls and women have been subjected to FGM and that around 3 million girls undergo some form of the procedure each year in Africa alone.

FGM's prevalence in the UK is difficult to estimate due to its hidden nature but is estimated that over 20,000 girls under the age of 15 years could be at risk in England and Wales. In addition, it is estimated that there are in excess of 125,000 females aged 15 years and over, currently residing in England and Wales, who are living with the consequences of FGM. (HM Government, Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines: Female Genital Mutilation; 2014.) The distribution of cases is likely to be uneven and will mirror the distribution of particular practicing communities.

Guidance and training for professionals

Staffordshire Safeguarding Children Board has developed Inter-agency FGM Guidance 


The Home Office has designed an e-learning training package to support professionals, including education, social and health care professionals, police officers, housing officers, the voluntary sector and others dealing with FGM in the course of their work. 


Remember if you are concerned that someone is being made subject to FGM contact:

  • Staffordshire County Council's First Response Service on 0800 13 13 126
  • Staffordshire Police on 101 and ask for M.A.S.H. (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub) Outside of MASH hours, report to the Area Communications Room. 
  • The Home Office has launched free online training for frontline professionals in identifying and helping girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).The NSPCC FGM helpline will offer advice, information and support for anyone concerned that a child's welfare is at risk because of female genital mutilation.If you are worried that a child may be at risk of FGM, you can contact our 24 hour helpline anonymously on 0800 028 3550 or email fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.

Female Genital Mutilation Training Event 09 September 2014 @ Staffordshire County Showground

The Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner (DPCC) Sue Arnold has spearheaded an awareness campaign highlighting the risk and cruelty of female genital mutilation (FGM), on behalf of Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis. This conference brought agencies together to debate, engage and raise awareness so that strong and effective partnerships can be formed to tackle this serious issue. Presentations from the day are below and are only to be used for professionals knowledge, but not for use as a training package.

 Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Education presentation

 Stafforshire Police presentation

 NSPCC presentation

 SAVANA presentation

 Crown Prosecutation Service presentation

 African Women's Service Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

 FGM APP For young people