Extra training bid to help end female genital mutilation

Extra training will help professionals spot women subjected to genital abuse

Extra training will help professionals spot women subjected to genital abuse

First published in News
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Education reporter

TEACHERS, doctors and social workers will be given extra training to help spot victims of female genital mutilation.

It comes after figures from East Lancashire Hospitals Trust (ELHT) picked up just two cases in three years needing medical attention after the procedure.

National plans will see a variety of public sector workers trained to recognise FGM.

The cultural practice includes removal of all or part of the clitoris to promote female virginity and fidelity.

In May, a Freedom of Information request saw ELHT reveal just a tiny number had been recorded by local doctors but medics in the area urged a ‘zero tolerance’ approach and for any concerned members of the public to flag up cases to the authorities.

The trust said they keep records of women subjected to FGM who have a daughter or are pregnant as it is then a child safety issue.

Lancashire county councillor Azhar Ali, who oversees health issues, said: “It is a heinous and barbaric practice and if anyone is concerned about a girl being taken away or back street practices, call the police.

“It is violent and should be treated in the same way as forced marriage.”

An ELHT spokeswoman said: “The numbers here are extremely small due to the ethnic mix of our local population with two cases in three years.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will today set out a package of measures to uncover cases of FGM at a summit.

The plan will involve supporting a small network of “community champions” to encourage volunteers who want to help affected people in their community.

Mr Clegg said: “We’re currently failing thousands of girls.

“Central to tackling it are the doctors, nurses, teachers and legal professionals who need to be equipped to identify and support young women and girls at risk of FGM.

“They agree that, without the right knowledge, skills and experience, people feel like they don't have the cultural understanding and authority to even talk about this practice honestly, never mind intervene when they're worried someone is vulnerable.”

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