New figures reveal the number of women who have undergone hospital treatment after being put through “horrendous” female genital mutilation (FGM) – and how the crime can remain hidden for years.
The Advertiser has obtained figures in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request from health trusts across the capital, which reveal that at least 1,600 women who have gone through FGM were admitted to London hospitals for treatment last year.
These women have suffered severe mutilation – including removal of clitoris, labia, and sealing the vagina with cuts and stitches.
Most would have endured these traumatic injuries between infancy and the age of 15 – with 10 being the accepted average age for when FGM is carried out.
However, it is common for the women experiencing these excruciating procedures to not receive hospital care until many years after their ordeal, with the practice of mutilation remaining a “hidden crime” until detected by doctors years later.