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How to deal with the threat of FGM

Don’t go. Don’t go. DON’T GO. These words were written again and again in bold or in capitals in almost every single of more than 800 comments under OP’s post on the social news site Reddit.

As a regular Reddit user, the young American girl sought help in her usual place when she didn’t know what to do: “In 10 days my dad will be taking my sis and brothers to a country in Africa [editor’s note: Somalia] where 98% of women have suffered from FGM. As a 16 year old who doesn’t want their vagina mutilated, I’m sooooooo effing scared.” She explains that her mother is also cut, but that she hopes this won’t happen to her, as both her parents work in health care and should know about the medical impacts of the practice. Nonetheless, she’s terrified – not only about her own fate, but also for the sake of her 12-years-old sister.

OP’s story reads like a thriller – but the fear is not fictional, it’s real. Her initial post ends with: “Help Reddit! I’m so scared and I don’t know what to do.”

And the Reddit community did help, in their way. In all their comments, they advise 16-years-old OP to talk to her parents and to get in touch with the police and with school officials.

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