A mother from Northampton is backing a new campaign to try and bring an end to Female Genital Mutilation.
Zubeda Dahir was an 8-year-old child in Africa when Female Genital Mutilation - or FGM - happened to her.
"I could hear their scream and I was like "Oh my God, what is going to happen to me?" Like, Oh my god, today is my death, today I'm just going to die. Anyway, my turn came and they took me in and I was trembling, I was shivering, I was feeling sick to be honest. And they cut me, the pain was so, so bad. Until today, I cannot forget that pain. So, thinking about that pain, I don't want my daughter to go through that pain."
Zubeda is now backing a new campaign to raise awareness about FGM.
In the last year - Northampton General Hospital recorded 35 cases but according to the NSPCC between January and March 2016 there were 220 newly reported cases of FGM in the Midlands and East of England.
Today Northamptonshire Police launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the issue- ahead of the school summer holidays when children can be at a higher risk of being taken abroad.
"It is a crime, it's child abuse and Northamptonshire Police is dedicated to protecting people from harm, particularly protecting the most vulnerable people in communities from harm. We want to work with communities to identify the early warning signs of girls who may be vulnerable, we want to make sure that we protect girls and women from FGM."
“There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It doesn't enhance fertility and it doesn't make childbirth safer. It is used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health. FGM, or female circumcision, is usually carried out for religious, cultural or social reasons. But let’s be clear – it is child abuse and it causes long-lasting physical and emotional damage. The practice must stop.
If you are concerned that a girl is at risk of FGM, it is a child protection issue and must be reported immediately by calling the Northamptonshire Child Safeguarding Team on 0300 126 1000.
For further help and advice you can contact the NSPCC FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email [email@example.com](http://If you are concerned that a girl is at risk of FGM, this is a child protection issue and must be reported immediately by calling the Northamptonshire Child Safeguarding Team on 0300 126 1000.
Further help and advice:FGM HelplineEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 0800 028 3550
VOICE Practical and emotional support for victims and witnesses of crime in Northamptonshirefgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk)