City Hall hears harrowing FGM testimonies

Boris signs the pledge to end the brutality of female genital mutilation Photo: ITN
Alimatu Dimonekene at the FGM conference today Credit: ITN

London's City Hall has often heard moving stories and harrowing testimonies. The evidence of survivors and rescue workers from the 7/7 bombings was memorable.

Today it was the turn of another victim of a different atrocity - female genital mutilation.

Alimatu Dimonekene, a 44-year-old mother from three from Enfield, has waited almost 30 years to tell her story.

She was a 16-year-old schoolgirl in Sierra Leone when she was taken to her grandmother's home to undergo the brutal ritual.

Some of the audience was in tears as Alimatu told how a group of women, including her aunts, pinned her to the floor.

Her attacker was a woman known as the local drunk who was paid to perform the illegal surgery.

Alimatu described the vicious nature of the assault and the appalling pain and bleeding in the weeks which followed.

She said she still experienced terrible flashbacks and needed counselling to come to terms with her ordeal.