Female Genital Mutilation

Home Office written question – answered on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate his Department has made of the number of women that were (a) victims of and (b) considered to be at risk of female genital mutilation since the introduction of the Serious Crime Act 2015.

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

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

Data on FGM includes a 2015 City University and Equality Now study, part funded by the Home Office, which estimated that 137,000 women and girls who had migrated to England and Wales were living with the consequences of FGM, and approximately 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born in England and Wales to mothers who had undergone FGM. The study also provides a breakdown of FGM prevalence estimates by local authority area which is available online at http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/12382/.

In addition, NHS Digital publishes data on the prevalence of FGM within the NHS in England. The most recent quarterly statistics were published in September 2018. A detailed breakdown of these statistics, including by local authority and age, is available online at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/female-genital-mutilation.

To improve understanding of the prevalence of so-called ‘Honour Based Violence’ including FGM, we amended the police Annual Data Requirement (ADR) to allow police forces the opportunity from April 2018 to record on a voluntary basis where a crime has been committed in the context of preserving the ‘honour’ of a family or community. This new voluntary collection is also capturing police recorded offences of FGM which were initially reported to the police under the duty.

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