Female genital mutilation (FGM) Facts and statistics

We don’t know how many girls and women are affected by, or at risk of, female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK. However, we can look  at what we know about FGM in other countries and use it to estimate the scale of the problem here.

There are an estimated 137,000 women and girls affected by FGM in England and Wales

Explanation: Research by City University estimated that 103,000 women aged 15-49 with FGM, born in countries in which it is practised, were living in England and Wales in 2011.

In addition there were an estimated 24,000 women aged 50 and over with FGM born in FGM practising countries and nearly 10,000 girls aged 0-14 born in FGM practising countries who have undergone or are likely to undergo FGM.  

Approximately 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born in England and Wales to mothers who had undergone FGM.

We have responded to over 1,500 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 January 2017 we received 1,564 contacts to the NSPCC Helpline on FGM. 35% of these contacts resulted in a referral to external agencies.

Since July 2015, 205 Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders have been made to safeguard girls from female genital mutilation

Explanation: Female Genital Mutilation Protection Orders (FGMPOs) came into effect on 17 July 2015. They are intended to safeguard girls who are at risk of FGM at home or abroad, or who have experienced FGM.

Between 17 July 2015 and the end of December 2017 there have been 222 applications and 205 FGMPOs made.

The age at which FGM is carried out varies. It may be carried out when a girl is new-born, during childhood or adolescence, just before marriage or during pregnancy.

Explanation: The age at which FGM is carried out varies enormously according to the community.

Over 100 girls were identified as having, or were having treatment for, FGM in England in 2015/16

Explanation: 123 NHS trusts and 74 GP practices submitted one or more FGM attendance record to the Health and Social Care Information Centre. There were 5,391 newly recorded cases of FGM reported. This will include those identified as having FGM and those having treatment for their FGM. These women and girls are newly recorded in the FGM Enhanced Dataset, which began collecting on 1 April 2015, but may have been previously identified by the health provider as having FGM. 139 girls under 18 at the time of their first attendance were reported, comprising 3 per cent of all newly recorded cases.

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


More about FGM

What is FGM

Find out more about female genital mutilation (FGM) and how it happens.

Find out more

Signs, indicators and effects

Find out more about the signs, indicators and effects of female genital mutilation (FGM).

Identifying the signs of FGM

Who is affected by FGM

Female genital mutilation (FGM) can happen at any age before getting married or having a baby. Some girls are babies when FGM is carried out.

Find out more

Prevent and protect

How to help keep children safe from female genital mutilation (FGM).

Prevent and protect children from FGM

Legislation, policy and guidance

Legislation, policy and guidance about female genital mutilation (FGM).

Read more

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