Archive for the ‘FGM’ Category

‘FGM risk’ Sheffield woman and child must stay in UK

A woman and child have been banned from travelling abroad, to avoid the risk of female genital mutilation (FGM).

On Thursday, Sheffield Family Court gave police the go-ahead to issue FGM protection orders to protect “a victim and a potential victim”.

A total of eight FGM protection orders have been granted to South Yorkshire Police since they were introduced in 2015.

Police said the two had been identified during an ongoing investigation.

The orders allow police to “prevent them from being taken out of the UK and into a situation where they could be at greater risk”, a South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said.

FGM, also termed female circumcision, is illegal in the UK and carries a sentence of up to 14 years in jail.

The term refers to any procedure that alters or injures the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

Det Sgt Suzanne Jackson, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “The effectiveness of these orders has enabled us to safeguard victims and potential victims, and further prevent the detrimental and devastating long-term effect they could and may have been subjected to.”

Youngsters in Waltham Forest encouraged to use art to tackle extremism online

ASPIRING artists are putting their skills to good use by launching a project to tackle the threat of extremism online.

Arts Against Extremism is a youth-led project aimed at supporting people aged 16 to 21 to become activists, flooding social media with positive messages about their communities.

Created in partnership by the Arts Council, Waltham Forest Council and the Home Office, the project was launched on Saturday October 14 at Centre17 in Church Hill, Walthamstow.

Cllr Sharon Waldron, cabinet member for community safety and cohesion, said the aim is to give every young person in the borough the encouragement to become a “voice for social change”.

Anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) campaigner Hibo Wardere of Walthamstow praised the “pioneering project”.

She said: “It recognises the wider harms of extremism, including FGM, and aims to engage youths in becoming a positive voice that stands up against it. “I will be following the project’s every move online and supporting it wherever I can.”

The launch of the project follows the Home Office’s findings from March 2017 identifying 126,000 tweets containing extremist messages and the rise of ‘fake news’ and ‘trolling’ on social media.

FGM and disability also hinder girls’ education

Your sponsored roundtable on educating girls (Society, 4 October) is to be commended both for laying bare the critical need to address this issue in general, and for acknowledging the complications and taboos around menstruation as a severe obstacle to progress. It is difficult to understand, however, why the painful topic of female genital mutilation was not also a focus of discussion. One required element in some communities of the lengthy initiation ceremonies to “adulthood” mentioned is that girls must undergo FGM. This cruel initiation, often at or just before puberty, is the marker by which potential husbands (often already owners of other wives) are in traditional thinking assured of their soon-to-be purchased wife’s virginity. Raising a girl and paying for her FGM is expensive – ceremonies are often held around harvest time when there’s more money – and bride price is increased if the girl-woman is “pure”.

Until girls are no longer perceived as chattels for exchange on the open market, the practices of FGM and early “marriage” (child rape) will continue. As your commentators acknowledge, FGM and early marriage will only be abandoned once men and women alike see these practices as patriarchy incarnate, the literal imposition of men’s power on female bodies. Assumed patriarchal entitlement remains to be challenged in many parts of the world, but nowhere more than in places where its imposition actually precludes young women even receiving an education which will empower both them personally and their wider communities.

Police are ‘determined’ to bring country’s first prosecution for female genital mutilation as they launch campaign to protect children coming from abroad

Police are targeting Eurostar terminals to protect children from female genital mutilation (FGM) as officers say they are ‘absolutely determined’ to obtain the first successful prosecution for the crime since it was outlawed over 30 years ago.

Inspector Allen Davis, from Scotland Yard’s sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command, said it was ‘really important’ to show the practice, made illegal in 1985, is not tolerated.

A police operation to protect children from practices including FGM, forced marriage, breast ironing and child abuse linked to beliefs focused on Eurostar terminal in London and Kent today.

Difficulties getting people to report FGM and testify against family members is one of a ‘number of reasons’ nobody has yet been convicted, Mr Davis said at St Pancras.

‘We are absolutely determined to obtain a successful prosecution,’ he said.

FGM is violence, child abuse and sexual assault” – Leyla Hussein

“FGM is violence, child abuse and sexual assault  …and of course we handed out Vulva cupcakes” is not a phrase you hear every day. But of course, it isn’t every day you speak to Leyla Hussein.

Leyla has been at the forefront of the fight against female genital mutilation (FGM) for over a decade. Her willingness to talk candidly – and at times even humerously– about her experiences has played a key role in challenging the culture of silence around FGM.

Leyla’s campaigning has taken many forms from fronting TV documentaries, to founding therapeutic services for survivors, to lobbying parliament At the heart of all of her work, however, is an acute understanding of the physical and psychological impact of FGM; an understanding rooted both in her personal experiences and her psychotherapeutic training.

Lewis Garland spoke to Leyla about her path into activism, the progress being made in the fight against FGM and the difficulties, from threats of violence to the impact of austerity, faced by those on the frontline.

What was your path to becoming an anti-FGM activist?

“I never planned to become an activist. I was cut when I was seven years old but it wasn’t until many years later that I began to question the practice. The catalyst was when I had my daughter. I found the whole process very traumatic but no one seemed to understand why. Then an amazing and brave health professional asked if I had had FGM and supported me in a way no one else had before. I am naturally curious and started asking why this had happened to me and why so many girls are being cut. My activism comes from this curiosity and my fierce determination to protect my daughter.”

“FGM is violence, child abuse and sexual assault” – Leyla Hussein

Rape, forced marriage and mutilation – women tell their harrowing stories to Home Secretary

Amber Rudd visited The Halo Project which supports victims of forced marriage, FGM and domestic abuse.

Survivors of domestic abuse and forced marriage told their harrowing stories to one of the UK’s most senior politicians.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd visited charity The Halo Project, which supports victims of forced marriage, domestic abuse , honour based violence and female genital mutilation.

She was there to find out how the Home Office could further support the project and combat extremism.

Mrs Rudd spent around an hour with the charity in central Middlesbrough and heard some inspiring and shocking stories from survivors.

One woman, who did not want to be named, spoke of her journey from her native Nigeria to Middlesbrough.

She said: “I was on the verge of committing suicide.

“I was a victim of domestic violence and I was forced to marry someone.

“I tried to run from my life because it was the only way I could get myself out.

The curse of blades and powders: FGM in Somaliland – in pictures

Almost all women aged 15 to 49 in the east African state of Somaliland have suffered female genital mutilation. But a campaign to highlight the physical and psychological damage caused by the practice is starting to have an impact


Police fear young girls are being ‘taken on holiday for FGM’

Patrols are being stepped up at London airports amid fears children are being taken on ‘holiday’ for female genital mutilation (FGM).

Police say they will target flights to-and-from countries where the prevalence of cutting young girls is high, such as Guinea, Somalia and Sudan.

FGM is the altering or causing injury to the female genital organs for non medical reasons, including removal of the clitoris or labia.

Experts say it is impossible to know how many girls are being taken abroad for FGM because it is normally arranged by their families, and like other forms of child abuse, is relatively easy to hide.

But Equality Now, a charity that campaigns to eradicate FGM, says there is anecdotal evidence holiday cutting is taking place.

It says girls are more at risk during the summer holidays because it allows them more time to ‘heal’ before returning to school

Woman facing deportation wins reprieve after Theresa May told child faces female genital mutilation on return

‘FGM is a crime it is child abuse and will not be accepted in this country,’ the Prime Minister says.

A woman facing deportation to Nigeria has won a reprieve after Theresa May was told her three-year-old daughter faced female genital mutilation if they were returned.

A decision to refuse Lola Ilesanmi’s application to remain in the UK has been withdrawn and Ms May has ordered immigration minister Brandon Lewis to personally oversee a review of her case.

Ms Ilesanmi’s MP Hannah Bardell, of the Scottish National Party, appealed for Ms May to intervene at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons earlier this month, telling her that the former RBS employee had been beaten, forced to have an abortion and had her face “smashed with an iPad” by her estranged husband because of her refusal to subject their daughter to FGM.

Government funding to expand work of FGM centre

A £30m Government grant will allow the National FGM Centre to continue its work to stop female genital mutilation (FGM).

Newly appointed children and families minister Robert Goodwill has announced funding for 24 projects as part of the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.

In his first address to the children’s social care sector since becoming minister, to the Association of Directors of Children’s Services annual conference in Manchester, Mr Goodwill confirmed that a portion of the grant would go to Barnardo’s, which runs the National FGM Centre alongside the Local Government Association, to maintain and expand the role of the centre.

The National FGM Centre was established in 2015 with the aim of ending FGM in England within 15 years. It works with girls and their families to raise awareness in schools and communities, and trains professionals including social workers and teachers in identifying girls at risk of FGM and reporting it to the police.

News of the grant comes as figures published by NHS Digital have recorded more than 5,000 previously unreported cases of FGM from April 2016 to March 2017 – with 39 per cent of cases where the age of the child was known in children under five.

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