Female Genital Mutilation: Lewisham

Home Office written question – answered on 23rd April 2018.

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Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of children under the age of 18 who are living in the London Borough of Lewisham and have undergone female genital mutilation (a) in the UK and (b) abroad in each of the last five years.

Photo of Vicky Foxcroft Vicky Foxcroft Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of children under the age of 18 who are living in the London Borough of Lewisham who have been subjected to a forced marriage in each of the last five years.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to the Hon. Member for Camberwell and Peckham on 11th April 2018, UIN 111921;

So called 'honour-based' violence, including Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, is a terrible form of abuse, and this Government is clear that we will not allow political or cultural sensitivities to get in the way of tackling it. Work to tackle these crimes is an integral part of our cross-Government Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy, published last year.

The NHS FGM Enhanced Dataset provides information on the number of women and girls with FGM who are being cared for by the NHS in England and has been published quarterly and annually by NHS Digital since 2014. A detailed breakdown of these statistics by local authority, age at which FGM was carried out and country where FGM was undertaken is available online at http://content.digital.nhs.uk/fgm.

The joint Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Home Office Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) operates a public helpline to provide advice and support to victims of forced marriage as well as to professionals dealing with cases. Statistics on the number of cases dealt with by the FMU are published annually, including a breakdown by region and age and are available online at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/forced-marriage#statistics-on-forced-marriage-collected-by-fmu. The statistics are available for the region of London. However, they cannot be broken down into specific London boroughs for data protection reasons. For example, the number of cases from a specific borough may be low enough to allow a victim to be identified, and the FMU must safeguard those it supports.

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