A 37-year-old woman from Waltham Forest has become the first person convicted in the UK of female genital mutilation (FGM). Today (Fri 8 March) she received an 11-year sentence at the Old Bailey for what the judge branded "a barbaric and sickening crime". Read more on the BBC here.
Cllr Naheed Asghar, Cabinet Member for Health and Voluntary Sector Partnerships, said: “FGM has been illegal in our country for more than 30 years. It is a barbaric and outdated practice that has no place in the 21st century. It’s shocking and saddening to see young women undergo this harmful procedure and carry its horrific effects for the rest of their lives.
“This is the first conviction for FGM in the UK, but too often those who perpetrate this kind of abuse go unpunished. I’m urging everyone in the community who knows someone who is at risk of undergoing this damaging practice to report it - you could save a young girl from a life sentence.
“Help is available in for those who have undergone FGM and for those who are at risk, such as the cervical screening clinic at Whipps Cross that offers a specialist service for FGM survivors. No one should have to suffer in silence so do not hesitate to come forward and seek support.”
Find out more about the cervical screening clinic at Whipps Cross Hospital here.
If you are worried about someone who may be at risk from FGM you can get advice on how to report it here from the NSPCC.