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Female genital mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is defined as “all procedures which include the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons."

FGM is abuse of the human rights of girls and women and is therefore a child protection issue.

FGM is illegal in the UK and it is illegal to prepare, send or take a child to another country.

If you suspect that any girl in Rotherham is at risk of being subjected to any form of FGM you must take action to report it immediately by contacting either:

  • South Yorkshire Police, Rotherham Public Protection Unit on 0114 220 2020
  • Rotherham’s Children's Social Care Services, MASH on 01709 336080

Rotherham procedures and guidance on FGM

FGM Reporting

From 31 October 2015, mandatory reporting was introduced in relation to FGM. This places a duty on all professionals to report to the police, where in the course of their professional duties, a professional discovers that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl aged under 18 (at the time of the discovery). The FGM mandatory reporting duty requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to make a report to the police where, in the course of their professional duties, they either:

  • Are informed by a girl under 18 that an act of FGM has been carried out on her; or
  • Observe physical signs which appear to show that an act of FGM has been carried out on a girl under 18 and they have no reason to believe that the act was necessary for the girl’s physical or mental health or for purposes connected with labour or birth.

For the purposes of the duty, the relevant age is the girl’s age at the time of the disclosure/identification of FGM (it does not apply where a woman aged 18 or over discloses she had FGM when she was under 18). The duty applies to:

  • Health and social care professionals regulated by a body which is overseen by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care (with the exception of the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland).
  • This includes those regulated by the: General Chiropractic Council; General Dental Council; General Medical Council; General Optical Council; General Osteopathic Council; General Pharmaceutical Council;
  • Health and Care Professions Council (whose role includes the regulation of social workers in England);
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Teachers - this includes qualified teachers or persons who are employed or engaged to carry out teaching work in schools and other institutions

Mandatory reporting means that as a professional you MUST report your knowledge or suspicion of FGM to the police through their 101 Service. This must be followed up by a call to MASH Team tele:  01709 336080 and the completion of a Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF).

Call the NSPCC FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550

Local and National FGM training and resources


There is a current Home Office Campaign aimed at tackling Female Genital Mutilation. A recent study revealed that 137,000 women in England and Wales are estimated to be living with the consequences of FGM. To address this issue, the Home Office is championing a proactive approach and has launched a free online FGM training package for all professionals.

Register for this e-learning

All Rotherham LSCB partner agencies, professionals and volunteers can access a free multi-agency e-learning course which is ‘An Introduction to FGM, Forced Marriage, Spirit Possession and Honour-based Violence’

Register for this e-learning


Safeguarding guidance

Commissioning guidance

Guidance and resources in FGM for Healthcare Professionals

Government FGM advice at GOV.UK

Multi-Agency Practice Guidelines

Tackling FGM in the UK – Intercollegiate recommendations for identifying, recording and reporting is published by The Royal College of Midwives (2013)

Download the FGM awareness poster

Download the FGM community poster

Download the FGM leaflet

Download the FGM wallet card