You can apply for a protection order if you or someone you know is at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). This will help to keep you (or the person you know) safe from another person (the ‘respondent’).

Someone else (eg from a local authority) can also apply for a protection order on your behalf.

Contact the police or get help and advice if you or someone you know is in immediate danger or is already a victim of FGM.

You can apply for a protection order even if you (or the person you know) are already a victim of FGM, eg so that the victim can’t be prevented from returning to the UK.

You won’t have to reveal your identity or pay to apply for a protection order.

How to apply

Download and fill in form (FGM001.). You’ll also need to fill in:

  • form (FGM006) if you’re applying for someone else
  • form (C8) if you don’t want your address, or the address of the person you’re applying for, to be shared with the respondent

Contact Citizens Advice if you need help with your application. You can also ask a solicitor to apply for you - you might be able to get legal aid.

Post or take your completed forms to the court you’re applying to. Read the guidance for a list of courts you can use.

Going to the hearing

You’ll be asked to go to a hearing. The court will tell you when and where it will happen. It will be held in private.

You might need to give evidence at the hearing. The court can make special arrangements if you’re worried about seeing the respondent there. Read the guidance to find out how to request this.

If the judge agrees you need a protection order, they’ll decide whether to give you a permanent or temporary order. They might ask you to provide more information before they make a decision.

What happens next

You’ll need to give (‘serve’) the protection order to the police, and to anyone else named in the order. You can give it to them yourself or the court can do it for you.

If someone breaks your protection order

You can contact the police or apply to get the respondent arrested if they don’t follow the restrictions set out in your protection order.

Changing your protection order

You can apply to extend, change (‘vary’) or cancel (‘discharge’) your order at any time.

You can also apply to add or remove people from your order. You can add someone if you believe they’re also at risk of FGM, or remove them if they’re no longer at risk.