Smiling girlFGM is child abuse and it is against the law.

If you suspect a child or woman has experienced FGM you must report your concerns so appropriate support and action can be taken.

If you think a child may be at risk there are steps you can take to help protect them and prevent them from experiencing FGM.

Reporting your concerns

If you think that a child may be at risk of female genital mutilation or if you suspect that FGM has already happened, even if it's not recently, you must seek help and advice.

Call the FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email

If you think a child is at immediate risk call the police on 999.

Reporting requirements
Regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales must report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s to the police (Home Office, 2016).

Find out more about the legal duty on schools in England and Wales to report cases of FGM on our legislation, guidance and policy page.

FGM protection orders

GavelFrom July 2015 anyone can apply to the court for an FGM protection order if they are concerned that someone is at risk of FGM.

Breaching an FGM protection order is a criminal offence with a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment.

Find out more about FGM protection orders from the Home Office’s FGM protection orders: factsheet (PDF).

To get an FGM protection order follow the steps on the website.

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.

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.

Support and advice for children


We have information on female circumcision, FGM and cutting on the Childline website. Children and young people can also contact Childline by phone, email or online.

0800 1111

Go to Childline FGM page


Petals is a webapp for young people, created by Coventry University, to help protect young girls and women from FGM.

Find out more

Working with families and children

Families who practice FGM don't think of it as abuse. Professionals need to give families advice and information that is sensitive to their culture and beliefs, but they need to make clear that FGM is illegal.

If a child has already undergone FGM she should be offered medical help and counselling. Professionals should also take action to protect any other children in the family and to investigate possible risk to others in the community.

How schools can help protect children from FGM

  • Child protection policy and procedures should outline what to do in the event of a concern about FGM. The policy should be read and signed by all members of staff and reviewed and updated annually.
  • A robust attendance policy can help identify patterns of absence and ensure these are picked up on and investigated. Frequent absences due to health issues can be a sign that FGM may have taken place.
  • Regular staff training is important to ensure staff recognise possible signs and indicators that a girl is either at risk or has already undergone FGM.
  • School assemblies and personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) lessons are a good way of raising awareness for both pupils and staff. Guest speakers can be invited in from external agencies; theatre groups can be used or films shown to engage young people.

Awareness films

Ending female genital mutilation

In our short film women share their experiences of FGM and health professionals talk about the physical and psychological effects.

A youth call to action on FGM

Shares the voices of girls and young women urging all young people and adults to campaign to end FGM. Part of the Welsh Government's Voices Over Silence campaign.

Resources for professionals

Resources for professionals

We’ve pulled together lists of practice guidance, films, leaflets and other resources.

See our resource list

Petals for professionals

Coventry University have produced a webapp which explains the legal responsibilities of professionals, advice on initiating conversations and information for specific professions.

Find out more

Other organisations that can help

The following organisations also provide support and advice about FGM:

More information about FGM

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

Legislation, policy and guidance

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

Read more

Facts and statistics

Facts and statistics about female genital mutilation (FGM).

See FGM statistics

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