More than 20,000 girls in England and Wales have been deemed of risk of mutilation, according to the NSPCC, as they unveil a new helpline to support victims.
According to the charity, people from the following communities are most at risk of female genital mutilation in the UK:
- Bohra-Dawoodi (Pakistani and Indian)
- Sierra Leonean
The free 24-hour helpline on 0800 028 3550 and dedicated email address email@example.com is aimed at anyone concerned that a child's welfare is at risk because of FGM and wanting advice, information or support, the charity said.
The Royal College of Midwives has welcomed a new service for victims of female genital mutilation in the UK. The new helpline is being launched by the NSPCC to help girls at risk of suffering FGM.
Janet Fyle, professional policy adviser at the Royal College of Midwives said:
"FGM is child abuse and we want midwives and other health workers, who are on the frontline of safeguarding and protecting girls and young women, to seek information and advice if they are concerned about a young girl or child".
Those responsible for committing female genital mutilation will be brought to justice, the Metropolitan Police said, as part of a new scheme aimed at supporting victims of the crime.
Detective Chief Superintendent Keith Niven, of Scotland Yard's sexual offences, exploitation and child abuse command, said:
This practice cannot be disguised as being part of any culture, it is child abuse and offenders will be relentlessly pursued.
A new helpline is being launched to help girls at risk of suffering female genital mutilation in the UK.
The NSPCC with the support of the Metropolitan Police and the Royal College of Midwives have said they will tackle what they call an abusive practice carried out on young girls and even babies.
More than 70 women and girls in the UK are seeking treatment every month for problems linked to FGM, the charity warned, saying the 1,700 victims referred to specialist clinics in the last two years were likely to be a fraction of the total affected by the practice.