Female genital mutilation (FGM) is illegal in the UK - it’s also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM or to help someone trying to do this.

The maximum sentence for carrying out FGM or helping it to take place is 14 years in prison.

FGM is any procedure that’s designed to alter or injure a girl’s (or woman’s) genital organs for non-medical reasons.

It’s sometimes known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘female genital cutting’. It’s mostly carried out on young girls.

FGM procedures can cause:

  • severe bleeding
  • infections
  • problems with giving birth later in life - including the death of the baby

If you know someone at risk

Contact the police if you think that a girl or young woman is in danger of FGM and is still in the UK.

Contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office if she’s already been taken abroad.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Telephone: 020 7008 1500
From overseas: +44 (0)20 7008 1500
Find out about call charges

Other help

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