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Information for parents

What is FGM?

FGM, sometimes referred to as female circumcision, is when a girl's genitals (private parts) are altered or removed. It can cause long-lasting damage as well as ongoing emotional distress. 


5 facts about FGM:

  • FGM is abuse, and it's illegal in the UK
  • there is no religious or medical reason for FGM
  • FGM can happen at any age before marriage
  • FGM can be dangerous if there is blood loss and infection
  • if you have been cut or you're worried about FGM, help is available.


FGM myths

Young people may be told that:

  • FGM will increase your fertility
  • it’s just 'what’s done'
  • it’s something your parents have had, so you should too
  • FGM is the only way to get a husband
  • not having it would bring shame to the family.

But there is no religious or medical reason for FGM. Cultural reasons are sometimes given but FGM is abuse and a criminal offence. Children are not always told that it's a criminal offence, but they have the right to be safe and get help.