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 the NSPCC anonymously if you’re worried that a girl or young woman is at risk of FGM or is a victim of FGM.

FGM Helpline
Email: fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk
Telephone: 0800 028 3550
Find out about call charges

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.

Other help

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: