Female genital mutilation (FGM) At a glance
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is the partial or total removal of external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It's also known as female circumcision, cutting or sunna.
Religious, social or cultural reasons are sometimes given for FGM. However, FGM is child abuse. It's dangerous and a criminal offence.
There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM. It doesn't enhance fertility and it doesn't make childbirth safer. It is used to control female sexuality and can cause severe and long-lasting damage to physical and emotional health.
Listen: "Hadas's story"
Hadas experienced FGM when she was just a few months old. Listen to Hadas talk about how it has affected her life, and why she believes FGM must stop.
Help and advice
Signs, symptoms and effects
Keeping children safe
If you're worried about a child, even if you're unsure, phone the FGM helpline on 0808 028 3550.
What we do about FGM
We have responded toabout FGM since June 2013. More than a third of these contacts have resulted in a referral to the police or children's services
Explanation: The NSPCC launched its dedicated FGM helpline in June 2013 for anyone with concerns about FGM. People can contact the helpline by phone on 0800 028 3550 or by email.
From 24 June 2013 to 31 May 2015 we receied 717 contacts to the FGM helpline. Of these contacts:
- 121 were requests for advice
- 270 led to a referral
- 326 were enquiries.