Applaud Efforts to End Female Genital Mutilation

Target: The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)

Goal: Commend the NSPCC for launching a national helpline to protect girls at risk of female genital mutilation

In the UK, as many as 23,000 girls under the age of 15 are believed to be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) each year. Despite FGM being illegal in the UK, more than 70 women and girls here seek treatment every month for health problems as a result of FGM. It is unfortunate and startling that not a single person responsible for maiming or killing these young women has been prosecuted since 1985.

To combat the problem of FGM, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) recently launched a national 24-hour helpline to protect young girls at risk of FGM. The charity is hoping to help end FGM, an unbearably painful procedure that is often done without an anesthetic. It involves the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs using a knife, scalpel, scissors, a razor or even a piece of glass. It is often done because it is a tradition in some cultures.

The 24-hour helpline is run by NSPCC protection staff who have had training and experience with girls and women who have been subjected to FGM. NSPCC is hopeful that anyone who is concerned that a child might be at risk of FGM can easily contact the helpline to protect her. People who come forward and use the helpline will be kept anonymous. Information about children at risk will only be passed on to social services and law enforcement.

By launching the helpline, NSPCC is giving adults the chance to help protect girls from becoming victims of FGM. Many of these victims cannot protect themselves since they are usually between the ages of four and ten. Some victims are even as young as infants. In fact, a midwife at Guys and St. Thomas’s Hospital in London said that some women do not even realize they had been subjected to FGM, as it was performed on them while they were babies. Victims of FGM are more prone to urinary tract infections and abdominal pain. Some are not even identified as victims of FGM until they become pregnant and are seen by medical staff. Sign the petition to commend NSPCC for working diligently to end the inhumane tradition of FGM.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children,

As many as 23,000 girls under the age of 15 are believed to be at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) each year in the UK. Despite FGM being illegal in the UK, more than 70 women and girls seek treatment every month for health problems as a result of FGM. Victims of FGM, if they survive the unbearably painful procedure, are more prone to urinary tract infections and abdominal pain. It is truly one of the worst forms of child abuse.

Thank you for recognizing FGM as a form of child abuse. In the past, not a lot of attention was given to tackle the issue of FGM because people were worried that trying to end the practice would be seen as a condescending and an imperialistic attempt to end centuries of African, Asian and Middle Eastern culture. But no girl should be subjected to such a painful procedure. These young girls could be as young as babies and therefore cannot protect themselves. Thank you for launching a 24-hour helpline to encourage anyone who believes a child is at risk for FGM to seek help for them.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: AnonMoos via Wikimedia Commons

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2 Comments

  1. J Davidson says:

    What would happen if they did this to males?

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