A new case of female genital mutilation (FGM) is recorded in the UK every two hours, new official figures reveal — and in a situation that mirrors the decades-long Muslim grooming gangs cover up, UK government and officials are turning a blind eye to the barbaric practice because they are terrified of being seen as politically incorrect and offending Muslim communities.
The FGM epidemic has sparked calls for authorities to do more to protect young girls and prosecute perpetrators. Shockingly, there has not been a successful prosecution against FGM in the UK since it was outlawed in 1985.
According to figures released last week by the NHS, 6,196 women and girls visited doctors across the country for FGM treatment between April 2017 and May 2018. Of these, 4,495 were newly recorded cases of FGM.
Some 70 cases of the 6,195 were detected when the person was still a child.
Leethen Bartholomew, head of the National FGM Centre, which aims to eradicate FGM in the UK by 2030, said in a statement:
“Shockingly, the figures confirm that dozens of women and girls born in the UK have undergone FGM, despite the practice being illegal for over 30 years. Yet there still hasn’t been a single successful prosecution to hold perpetrators to account.
“FGM is child abuse and it’s vital that we work with affected communities to change hearts and minds about the practice.”
It was reported in March that cases of alleged FGM in the UK had increased fivefold since 2014. According to responses by 47 police forces obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO), there were 1,337 reported cases of FGM over a three-year period between 2014 and the end of 2016. Cases had risen from 137 in 2014 to 647 in 2016.
The latest data from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), however, shows there have been just 36 referrals of alleged FGM to the CPS since 2010. Despite the government criminalizing FGM in 1985, there has not been a single successful prosecution.
RT reports: Mama Silya, a victim of FGM living in north London, is calling on the UK to step up its efforts to stop the “traumatic” practice.
Some 27 years ago, aged 10, she was held down by five women and stripped of her most intimate parts. She had been taken to a river so she could be washed from head to toe, and dressed in a white gown. Her hair was plaited and her hands were covered in henna patterns as she was prepared for the coming-of-age procedure.
“They took something away from me without my consent. My clitoris, my right of a woman. I was born healthy, so there is no reason for someone to come and take it away from me just because of culture or what they said,” stated Silya.
She described how she was forcibly held down. “Both women held me, one by the left hand and one by the right. The other two were holding my legs while another woman was cutting me. They cut my clitoris with blades. There was a lot of blood coming out so I lost it, I fainted.”
The mother-of-three said the women had no medical qualifications and carried out the procedure with no anesthetic. “Once I was held down, I was screaming, trying to run off, but when you are a child and four women are holding you, you cannot run. You can just scream and cry.”
FGM is a ritual procedure by which some or all of the external female genitalia are cut or removed. Depending on what type of FGM is carried out, the clitoris, and the inner and outer labia can be removed; and the vaginal opening may be sewn up. There is no medical reason for FGM, and it is not provided for in any religious text. However, communities mainly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia still consider the procedure a milestone on the path to adulthood.
Silya explained how FGM is used as a way of preserving virginity and controlling sexuality, as one’s desire for sex is subsequently lost. She said people in her community believe that “if the woman is not cut, she will have the temptation to go with men all the time.” She added: “[If] the woman is not cut, she is not clean.”