The National Health Service (NHS) in England just released a report detailing the number of cases of female genital mutilation doctors reported over the past year. That includes babies mutilated by someone else as well as women giving birth who had clearly been mutilated in the past.
How many is too many? How many would you you expect to see in England? Sure, even one is disturbing, but if you had asked me to guess, I would never have picked a number this large.
The findings show that in the last year there were 9,179 attendances in which FGM was either identified, treatment was given, or a woman with FGM had given birth to a baby girl.
In total, 5,391 attendances were recorded in the system for the first time — 114 of which were girls under the age of 16.
That’s a slight drop from the year before, but considering the number should be closer to zero, it’s not falling fast enough.
Many of those women (35%) were born in Somalia (where religion and culture play heavy roles in FGM) and left, but 112 were born in the UK. Which makes you wonder what the hell was going on there. Anyone convicted of performing the procedure in the UK can go to jail for up to 14 years. If the doctors weren’t doing it, the alternatives are unimaginable.
In the more than 30 years since FGM became illegal in the UK, not a single person has been convicted of the crime. Only one case has been brought to trial and nothing happened to the defendants.
Without serious punishment brought upon those who facilitate and perform FGM, it won’t stop.
And remember: These are only the cases doctors reported. We don’t know how many victims didn’t see a doctor in England last year or how many cases went unnoticed.
(Screenshot via YouTube)