Julia Lalla-Maharajh from the Orchid Project which works to end the practice of FGM argues that more needs to be done to protect women.Read the full story ›
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.
Young victims of mutilation can be left in agony and with physical and psychological problems that can continue into adulthood, a charity has said, as it launches a new helpline to support girls at risk.
Lisa Harker, the NSPCC's head of strategy, said: "The UK's child victims of female genital mutilation are hidden behind a wall of silence.
"Children who are at risk or victims of female genital mutilation often don't even know it is abusive and harmful because it is done at the request of their family.
"There is also a huge pressure within these communities to keep quiet about female genital mutilation, with some people even being threatened with violence if they speak out".
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.
An NSPCC volunteer who provided a character reference for Stuart Hall has stood down from her role with the charity.
The volunteer concerned has now stood down from her role with the NSPCC. Our priority is, and always will be, to the victims of child abuse and we will not allow anything to get in the way of this.
Hall will be free within months, but the trauma he caused his victims will stay with them a lot longer - possibly for the rest of their lives. He has shown total disregard for their feelings, even arrogantly branding them liars.
Whilst it's commendable that this case was pursued even after such a long passage of time, the end result is not a great day for justice or for the victims.
A children's charity volunteer wrote a reference for paedophile Stuart Hall praising his charity work, a court was told.
Hall's barrister Crispin Aylett QC told Preston Crown Court how Patricia Macmillan, who is chairman of the East Cheshire branch of the NSPCC, wrote a letter of reference praising Hall's work as a charity auctioneer since 2008.
However the children's charity has said that the letter constituted the personal views of Ms Macmillan and did not speak for the charity.
The NSPCC did not supply a character reference for Stuart Hall. The views were of a volunteer speaking in a personal capacity and do not in any way reflect the views of the NSPCC. Child sexual abusers like Hall do lifelong harm to children and we believe that if found guilty they should be sent to jail.