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.

Read more about FGM

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.

Worried about FGM?

Call the FGM helpline if you're worried a child is at risk of, or has had, FGM.
It's free, anonymous and we're here 24/7.

0800 028 3550

or email fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk

Help and advice

Signs, symptoms and effects

Find out what the signs and symptoms are of female genital mutilation.
Spotting signs of female genital mutilation

Keeping children safe

How to help keep children safe from FGM
Keeping children safe from FGM

What we do about FGM

FGM helpline

Helpline offering advice, information and support to anyone concerned that a child's welfare is at risk because of female genital mutilation.

0800 028 3550

Contact us by email

We have responded to over 700 contacts about 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.

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ChildLine is our free, confidential helpline for children and young people. Whenever children need us, ChildLine is there for them – by phone, email or live chat.

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NSPCC Schools Service

We visit 9-11 year olds in schools across the country, helping them to understand what abuse is and giving them the confidence to speak out and seek help if they ever need it.
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