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‘FGM is a criminal offence and child abuse. It can cause extreme and lifelong physical and emotional suffering … We all have a responsibility to do all we can to put a stop to it.Minister for Preventing Abuse and Exploitation Karen Bradley said:
We believe that introducing a mandatory duty will provide clarity for professionals and give them the confidence to confront FGM. It will aid police investigations and increase the number of perpetrators caught and prosecuted.’
'FGM is a crime and it is child abuse, and this Government will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong physical and psychological suffering to women and girls.FGM, also known as female circumcision, is defined as the partial or total removal of female external genitalia for non-medical reasons. Not only is it a painful and exceedingly dangerous procedure, it frequently leads to severe infections and complications with conception and childbirth; sadly, in many cases, it proves fatal. The age at which FGM is performed is highly dependent on the surrounding community: a girl may undergo the procedure at any point from the early stages of infancy to a point during her first pregnancy. However, disturbingly, the majority of FGM cases are thought to take place on young girls between the ages of 5 and 8 years old.
The duty is an important step forward in tackling this practice, and we believe that it will make sure professionals have the confidence to confront FGM.
There is clear evidence that existing systems are not yielding appropriate referrals to the police. We need to ensure that where a serious crime has been committed, the police are informed and can instigate an appropriate multi-agency response to protect girls and bring perpetrators to justice.'