Help prevent Female Genital Mutilation

Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board alongside Thames Valley Police, the Safer and Stronger Bucks Partnership Board and the children and adult Safeguarding Boards want to highlight the issue to give people confidence to speak out about any concerns they may have, particularly in communities where people may find it difficult to raise their fears.

Martin Tett, Chair of the Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board said,

“We want to make sure people are not afraid to speak up about FGM and to know there are safe and supportive channels through which they can report any fears. We want to do everything we can to stop this happening to vulnerable women in our local area – it’s also really important that we all know what signs to look for and how to raise the alarm if need be.”

Fran Gosling-Thomas, Chair of Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board said,

“There are some warning signs that we want to raise awareness of and we’d like people to find out a bit more about this subject so that they can help spot the danger before it happens. Of course, it’s horrible to think about the detail of this terrible crime which is why we want to do all we can to eliminate from the county and to protect local girls from going through this ordeal.”

Detective Superintendent Nick John, Head of Thames Valley Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Unit said,

“Tackling and preventing this awful crime is a priority for Thames Valley Police. I especially urge people who work closely with girls and young women to learn about what signs to look out for. Rest assured you can report any concerns in a safe and confidential way and we will act quickly and robustly on any information we receive.”

Signs to be aware of ahead of the school summer holidays include:

  • A girl’s parents originating from an FGM practising country and she is taken abroad for a prolonged period of time.
  • A girl referring to a ‘special procedure’ or ‘special occasion’ or ‘becoming a woman’
  • The girl and her family having a low level of integration into the local community

There are also indicators a girl may have experienced FGM which include showing signs of being in pain, having restricted movement, absence from school, prolonged time in the bathroom and toilet and a reluctance to take part in physical activity.

If you think a child is at risk of FGM you can report it to the Buckinghamshire Children Safeguarding Board. If you think a child is at immediate risk of FGM, for example, if she’s about to be taken out of the country, you can report your concerns to the police via the non-emergency number 101 or by dialling 999 in an emergency.

  • FGM has been against the law in the UK for more than 30 years and is considered child abuse.
  • Female genital mutilation (FGM) is any procedure that involves partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM is considered child abuse and has been against the law in the UK
  • Information about female genital mutilation and how to raise concerns can be found on Buckinghamshire Children Safeguarding Board’s website.