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Luton Borough Council

Female genital mutilation


What is female genital mutilation (FGM)?

FGM is any procedure that is designed to alter or injure a girl’s, or a woman’s, genital organs for non-medical reasons. It can be known as female circumcision or female genital cutting and is often carried out for cultural, religious and social reasons within families and communities.

FGM is illegal in the UK and it’s also illegal to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM, or help someone trying to do this. People caught carrying out FGM, or helping someone to carry it out, face a large fine and a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

FGM causes severe bleeding, infections and problems with giving birth in later life – including the death of the baby. There are no health benefits of FGM. The removal and damaging of healthy tissues affects the normal function of girls and women’s bodies.

Follow this link to find out more about the damaging physical and psychological effects of FGM.

What should I do if I think someone is at risk?

If you think someone is in immediate danger you should contact the police.

If she has already been taken abroad you should contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 1500 or from overseas call +44 (0)20 7008 1500.

You should also contact our Safeguarding Adults and MASH teams who will be able to offer you support and guidance: 

Safeguarding Adults team: 01582 547730

Multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH)

Telephone: 01582 547653
Out of hours: 0300 3008123
Emergency: 999
Email: [email protected]

You can also call the NSPCC anonymously on 0800 028 3550 if you’re a worried someone might be a victim of FGM. You can also email them at [email protected].

Follow this link for more information and advice from the NSPCC.

Additional support and guidance is available from the organisations below:


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