Imagine being strapped down against your will and having your genitals removed with a shard of glass by someone with no medical expertise, in the most unhygenic of conditions.
It sounds like something out of a horror movie. Yet this is the reality faced by millions of young girls and women across the world –female genital mutilation (FGM). And now a Nigerian teenager who escaped the horrors of FGM and fled to Greater Manchester is at risk of deportation after the UK Border Agency rejected her claim for asylum last year. Manchester-based refugee and asylum organisation RAPAR are dedicated to protecting 15-year-old Olayinka against relatives in Nigeria who insist that she must endure the ‘traditional’ procedure that killed her eight-year-old sister in 1992.
After increasing pressure from her family and a failed attempt to force the procedure on Olayinka, resulting in her and her brother being savagely beaten, her mother Abiola Olaoye fled Nigeria in 2010 and currently lives safely in Rochdale with her children.
The hard work of the organisation has so far paid off and the Border Agency have agreed to let the family remain in Britain until the end of the school year, however with the deadline looming a fresh appeal has been made in the hopes that Olayinka can remain safe in Manchester.