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14,000 new cases of FGM in two years highlights scale of the challenge: LGA

20 cases recorded in last quarter where the procedure was undertaken in the UK

"The fact that there have been more than 14,000 new cases of FGM identified over the past two years highlights the scale of the challenge facing all agencies seeking to stop this horrific form of abuse."  This was the response of Cllr Anita Lower, Deputy Chair of the Safer and Stronger Communities Board at the Local Government Association, to statistics produced by the NHS covering the period from July to September 2017.

During that period there were 1,760 individual women and girls who had an attendance where FGM was identified or a procedure for FGM was undertaken. These accounted for 2,205 attendances reported at NHS trusts and GP practices where FGM was identified or a procedure for FGM was undertaken. This represents a slight fall since the previous quarter.

There were 1,060 newly recorded women and girls between July 2017 and September 2017. This was also slightly lower than the previous quarter. 'Newly recorded' means this is the first time they have appeared in the official statistics. It does not indicate how recently the FGM was undertaken, nor does it mean that this is the woman or girl's first attendance for FGM.

Cllr Anita Lower, who is also Chair of the Advisory Board for the National FGM Centre, run by the LGA in partnership with Barnardo's, said:

"While it is encouraging that newly recorded cases of FGM have fallen slightly since the previous quarter, it is still concerning that there were more than 1,000 such cases, including 15 involving girls under the age of 18 and 20 cases where the procedure was undertaken in the UK.
"It is vital that health trusts and GP practices continue to submit FGM data to help build reliable and accurate figures reflecting the prevalence of FGM across the country.

"In the areas where the National FGM Centre is working, social work provision to girls and families affected by FGM has been quickly and significantly improved through the intervention of the Centre's social workers, who are embedded in council safeguarding teams. Hundreds of referrals have been received in areas that previously only recorded a handful of cases each year.

"The Centre's pioneering prevention and intervention work is having an effective impact on reducing FGM by modelling good practice, sharing expert knowledge and building trusting relationships with families and communities with which they are engaged."

For the NHD Digital statistics, click here.

8/12/17