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MPs: Failure to tackle FGM a 'national scandal'

Failure by authorities to tackle the growing practice of female genital mutilation in the UK is a "national scandal", according to MPs. The Home Affairs committee hit out at the abuse of thousands of girls which it said could have been prevented.

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Approx 170,000 women in UK 'have undergone FGM'

An estimated 170,000 women and girls in the UK have been subjected to FGM, according to a report from MPs.

The Home Affairs committee also found:

  • In two London boroughs almost one in 10 girls are born to mothers who have suffered the procedure and are therefore themselves at risk.
  • FGM is most commonly carried out on girls between the ages of five and eight.
  • In some cases it is carried out by a health professional, but is more commonly undertaken by a traditional practitioner with no formal training, without anaesthetic, using knives, scissors or even pieces of glass.
  • The committee said there was still very little information on the girls most at risk.
  • The immediate effects can include severe pain, bleeding, shock, infection and occasionally death.
  • In the long term, many women and girls experience mental health problems, such as depression and post-traumatic stress.
  • Police in the UK have investigated more than 200 cases over the last five years.

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