Prosecute Female Genital Mutilation in the UK

Target: Prime Minister David Cameron

Goal: Prosecute female genital mutilation in the UK.

Since it was outlawed in 1985, not a single case of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been prosecuted. According to research by FORWARD, the leading UK charity working against FGM, approximately 66,000 girls have been mutilated in the UK, and 24,000 girls under 16 in England and Wales could be at risk of FGM.

FGM is the alteration of female genitals for non-medical purposes. This includes, but is not limited to, the partial or total removal of the clitoris and/or labia minora, the excision of the labia majora, and infibulation, which effectively seals most of the vagina closed. It is thought that mutilating the genitals in these ways will prevent young women from having sex, and thus ruining their virtue. This torturous practice is a dangerous and immoral means of exercising control over female sexuality.

The Home Office webpage for FGM offers facts, statistics, and a few phone numbers, but gives little information about how to report these crimes, what kind of investigations are made, and what kind of charges are filed. The information is given only in English.

In order to take action toward eliminating FGM, the UK government must provide victims with more information about reporting, investigating, and charging FGM as a crime, and must actually investigate and prosecute reported FGM cases.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Prime Minister Cameron,

The Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act of 1985 and the Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2003 are necessary tools with which to fight the practice of female genital mutilation. While the laws themselves make a statement, they cannot deter people from performing female genital mutilation (FGM) if they are not enforced.

In order to successfully investigate and prosecute FGM, there first must be more extensive and accessible information available to victims. Please add more information about how to report FGM and the investigation and prosecution process on the Home Office webpage for FGM, and include translations into other languages.

Next, please dedicate time and effort to actually prosecuting this serious crime. FGM is dangerous, cruel, and a complete violation of women’s rights. FGM will not stop until those who practice it are brought to justice.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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8 Comments

  1. Ivan D. Socher says:

    Horrifying!

  2. john malcolm says:

    What are we tax payers paying your salary for if you cant enforce the law of the land?

  3. The dark ages are long over. This is a sign that continues to hurt women. It is a modern age and we are equals. Something tells me this is lead by men. How would you like it if someone did this to your penis?

  4. I went to a conference in Leicester on this and one of the most debilitating factors was that so many muslim men and women saw FGM as an act of kindness and cleanliness with quite a few people distinguishing between the different types of FGM saying that type 1 was okay (the least intrusive form) as a way of justifying these abhorrent acts. I agree that it definitely needs prosecuting and awareness should be heightened considerably but unfortunately the only way to really stop the practice is to completely alter the cultural perceptions of those who believe in it- a much harder task!

    • Also it’s important to understand that this practice is traditionally carried out by women and often out of love. They truly believe that they are doing these women a kindness and its essential to understand these perceptions and to alter them if we really want to stop the practice – criminalising it without trying to gauge why it is carried out will only drive it further underground- alter their perceptions and make these women see the dangers associated with the practice and its oppressive nature

  5. Why just FGM? Surely, ALL genital mutilation (male and female) inflicted on minors, or the unwilling is criminal? Just because it is a religious practice for some does not make it acceptable.

    • Unfortunately, male ‘circumcision’, as MGM is often referred to, is not currently a criminal offence in the UK. While I agree it should be, this petition is about FGM, which IS a criminal offence. Keep focused people!

  6. Thanks, have of course signed. You may also like to sign the HM Gov e-petition on this subject: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/35313

    Another source of info on organisations and action around stopping FGM can be found here: http://hilaryburrage.com/2012/06/25/nofgm-a-listing-for-uk-action-references-on-female-genital-mutilation/

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