Female Genital Mutilation: Prosecutions

Home Office written question – answered on 9th February 2017.

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Photo of Douglas Carswell Douglas Carswell UKIP, Clacton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many prosecutions have been brought under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 since the introduction of that legislation.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime and it is child abuse. The Government will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong physical and psychological suffering to women and girls.

There has been one prosecution brought under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, which was unsuccessful. The police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have highlighted that one reason for the lack of investigations and prosecutions is a lack of referrals. In addition, cultural taboo and the age and vulnerability of the victims may prevent them coming forward.

In 2015 we significantly changed the law to breakdown these barriers. We introduced: extended extra-territorial jurisdiction, lifelong anonymity for victims, a new offence of failure to protect a girl from FGM and a mandatory reporting duty. We have also introduced FGM Protection Orders and latest figures show that 79 have been made to protect girls.

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