Most girls are aged 5 to 8, but FGM can happen at any age before getting married or having a baby. Some girls are babies when FGM is carried out.

Girls living in communities that practise FGM are most at risk. Data on FGM is only collected in 27 countries in Africa and also in Yemen (WHO, 2012), but we know FGM is also practiced in other countries in the Middle East and in Asia (House of Commons International Development Committee, 2013).

In the UK, the Home Office has identified girls from the Somali, Kenyan, Sudanese, Sierra Leonean, Egyptian, Nigerian, Eritrean, Yemeni, Kurdish and Indonesian communities as most risk of FGM (2014).

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

FGM in the UK

FGM can happen anywhere in the UK. However there are large populations of practising communities in:

  • London
  • Cardiff
  • Manchester
  • Sheffield
  • Northampton
  • Birmingham
  • Oxford
  • Crawley
  • Reading
  • Slough
  • Milton Keynes

(NHS Choices, 2014).

Girls are more at risk if FGM has been carried out on their mother, sister or a member of their extended family (HM Government, 2011).

Keeping children safe

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

Facts and statistics

Facts and statistics about female genital mutilation (FGM).
Read more

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  1. Home Office (2014) Female genital mutilation: resource pack. [London]: [HM Government].

  2. House of Commons International Development Committee (2013) Violence against women and girls: second report of session 2013-14 (PDF). London: The Stationery Office.

  3. World Health Organization (WHO) (2012) Female genital mutilation (PDF). Geneva: World Health Organization (WHO).