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
- problems with giving birth later in life - including the death of the baby
If you know someone at risk
Contact the the NSPCC anonymously if you’re worried that a girl or young woman is at risk of FGM or is a victim of FGM.
If you know someone in immediate danger
Contact the police if you think that a girl or young woman is in immediate danger of FGM.
You should also 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
Get a protection order
You can apply to get a protection order from the court if:
- you’re a victim of FGM
- you or someone you know is in danger of FGM
Download and fill in an application form (FGM001).
Read the guidance to find out which courts you can apply to.
You can search for help and advice in your area if you’re worried that someone is in danger of FGM or if you’re a victim of FGM.
You can also contact:
- the Safeguarding Children Board at your local council
- Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development (FORWARD)
- NHS specialist clinics for FGM
- Daughters of Eve