Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but where there's no medical reason for this to be done. It is a form of abuse designed to constrain and control a woman’s sexuality. FGM is against the law.
Also known as "female circumcision" or "cutting", and by other terms such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others.
FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts. It is illegal in the UK and is child abuse.
It's very painful and can seriously harm the health of women and girls. It can also cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health.
NHS.UK provides information on the different types of FGM, the effects and where to get support.
FOREWARD is a charity that works in the UK, Europe and Africa to safeguard girls at risk of FGM and support women affected. They do this through direct community engagement, advocacy and strategic partnerships.
Childline have special counsellors to support and how to get help to someone who you think might be at risk.
GOV.UK documents for professionals to help safeguard women and children.