Fears as more FGM cases identified

Published: Friday 30th January 2015 by The News Editor

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More than 500 cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) were newly identified in December, according to figures published today.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) said 558 new patients at acute NHS hospital trusts in England were found to have undergone the illegal procedure.

The figure increased from 466 in November, but seven more trusts – 131 out of 160 – provided statistics than the previous month.

In all there have been 1,946 newly identified cases since September, of whom 47 were under the age of 18.

The data also showed that 2,146 patients previously identified as having been subjected to FGM were being treated at the end of last month.

John Cameron, head of the NSPCC helpline, said: “These new figures indicate that female genital mutilation is a bigger problem in the UK than we thought and there are obviously children at risk of being subjected to this cruel and unnecessary practice right now.

“So it’s vital that all health professionals are trained to spot the signs and alert children’s services if they think a child is at risk. Those victims who have already undergone this barbaric procedure also need help to overcome the trauma.

“Since launching at the end of June 2013, the NSPCC’s FGM helpline has received 512 contacts from the public and professionals, with nearly half of these cases so serious they have been referred to police and children’s services.

“If anyone is worried about a child or would like support or advice they should call this helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk – and they can do this anonymously.”

Published: Friday 30th January 2015 by The News Editor

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