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 1,200 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 March 2016 we received 1,202 contacts to the FGM helpline. Of these contacts:

  • 224 were requests for advice
  • 464 led to a referral
  • 514 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.

0800 1111

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Our programme (formerly Childline Schools Service) uses specially trained staff and volunteers to talk to primary school children about abuse.
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