Preventing FGM for future generations
Hackney Council and the City of London Corporation, along with Hackney Women’s Haven, are helping to raise awareness of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) within local communities as part of a drive to stop the illegal practice within a generation.
Coinciding with today’s International Day for Zero Tolerance to FGM and the start of an FGM Week of Action, using the hashtag EndFGM, both local authorities are reiterating their aim to break the cycle of FGM with a series of events, the distribution of an information/referral card and a new frontline staff protocol which is being put into action.
FGM - the partial or total removal of the external genitalia - has been illegal in the UK since 1986 and more than 3,000 women in Hackney and the City of London are said to be living with the consequences of the practice.
FGM causes significant health problems, ranging from severe pain to emotional and psychological shock, and even death. In the long term it can cause chronic infection, damage to the reproductive system and complications in sex, pregnancy and childbirth.
As part of a joint strategy, new measures to raise awareness of FGM include:
- The launch of a multi-agency protocol for key professionals, who are likely to come into contact with girls and women. This gives them a deeper understanding of FGM and the actions they must take to safeguard girls and women who they believe are at risk, or who have already undergone FGM.
- An information/referral card - the size of a business card to ensure that it can be discreetly kept - provides information and key contact details to help people report cases of FGM and where to find out more about the issue.
- FGM events for residents, community groups, frontline staff and schools to provide information and advice about FGM, covering how to report that the practice and to raise awareness of its risks and that it is a crime.
This work joins with other ongoing preventative work such the greater involvement of survivors, men and faith leaders in policy work, and the creation of a directory of support, specialist services and voluntary groups for all relevant professionals.
Together with the City of London, we want to put a stop to this harmful practice. We’ve put in place training for staff so they can recognise and report the signs of FGM, we’ve rolled-out information residents so they know where they can report it and help prevent it from happening and we’re working with others to provide training for residents, frontline staff and schools. We want to encourage residents across the borough to help us fight FGM, come forward, report it and stop it from harming the lives of current and future generations of women.
FGM is a violent abuse of women and girls. It is our aim to prevent FGM from happening, improve services and professionals’ responses to girls and women who have undergone or are at risk of FGM, and ensure sensitive specialist support, information and advice is available and targeted to the right people.
Events during and after the FGM Week of Action include:
Hawa Trust and Hackney Women’s Haven, 11 February, 12 - 4.00pm, Hackney CVS, Adiaha Antigha Centre, 24 to 30 Dalston Lane, London E8 2LY. A day of activities that will raise awareness regarding FGM. Contact Hawa via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 07852 360 272
Rise Community Action, 18 February, 2 - 4.30pm, Halkevi Community Centre, 31-33 Dalston Lane, London, E8 3DF. The event will feature an FGM Awareness workshop, a talk on community engagement towards achieving zero tolerance to FGM and personal testimony by an FGM survivor. Contact Rita or Janet via email: email@example.com or call: 07528 793 863 / 07984 798 212
Hackney Council and the City of London Corporation, City and Hackney Safeguarding Children’s Board, City and Hackney CCG, Homerton Hospital and the police have developed a joint strategy and action plan to tackle FGM.Working more closely together, they aim to improve the response of professionals to girls and women who have undergone or are at risk of FGM and make specialist information, advice and support more readily available.
You can contact:
Hackney Children’s Social Care team by calling: 020 8356 5500 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
City of London Corporation’s Children and Families Team by calling: 020 7332 3621 or email: email@example.com
Find out about City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board by visiting: www.chscb.org.uk
You can also contact NSPCC helpline by calling 0800 028 3550 or visit: firstname.lastname@example.org