There is support available if you or a friend is worried about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). There are many people who can help if you feel that there is a chance that FGM could happen.
FGM can be very harmful and can affect a person’s health. It is also illegal in the UK so adults and professionals have to take your fears seriously and in most cases they will have to involve specialist professionals which may include social services or the police.
There is also specialist support if you have undergone FGM. This could include having someone help with any physical health problems that you might be experiencing, having someone to talk to or provide emotional support and in many places the de-infibulation or opening up procedure is available.
It is important to get help if you are worried, scared or need support – adults and professionals are there to help you and make sure you feel safe.
People you can contact
People you can contact include:
1. NSPCC FGM Helpline: they can offer advice, support and also help you find help in your local area.
Phone: 0800 028 3550 – this number is free and is available 24hours a day and 7 days a week
2. FGM Specialist Health Services: these are FGM trained medical professionals who can offer help with health issues, including explaining what FGM is, examinations to help understand what has happened and emotional and psychological support. A list of the FGM specialist Health Services can be found here. All of these services are free and all the staff have a lot of experience working on FGM and are
3. FGM Organisations: Many of the organisations who work on FGM can offer support and help. This may include explaining what FGM is and what support if available, helping you to access specialist support including medical and psychological support among other things. A list of organisations working on FGM can be found here.
4. Police: 999 – can be called for immediate help in emergencies e.g. if someone is being taken abroad that day to have FGM or if it is a weekend and you can’t get in touch with other professionals. This number is free and is available 24hours a day and 7 days a week.
101 – this is a non-emergency number and can be helpful to connect you to your local police who will help you connect with the person who is trained on FGM and/or child protection. This number is free and is available 24hours a day and 7 days a week.
5. GP, School Nurse or other Health Professional: can be a good source of support and can help you get access to specialist support and can help you to feel heard and can support you with explaining the situation to other professionals. Health professionals now have a duty to report any disclosures of FGM – this means that your concerns will be taken seriously.
6. Teachers: can be a good source of support and can help you get access to specialist support and can help you to feel heard and can support you with explaining the situation to other professionals. Teachers now have a duty to report any disclosures of FGM – this means that your concerns will be taken seriously.
7. Foreign and Commonwealth Office: can provide help if you are abroad or if the person you are worried about is abroad.
Phone: 0207 008 1500
Phone (from abroad): +44 (0)207 008 1500
If you are abroad you can also contact the British Embassy who can also provide help. For a list of British Embassies abroad and their contact details click here.