Introduction The UN estimates 200 million women and girls worldwide are living with the effects of female genital mutilation (FGM), with 137,000 victims in England and Wales. Following the introduction of the amended FGM Act 2003 in October 2015, I reported that 1385 new cases were identified in England in the quarter before the new law and 1316 in the quarter following. In keeping with my aim, I have reviewed the data from the year following the new legislation, to determine its effect.
Methods Using hscic and NHS digital data, combined with reports from UN and WHO, I analysed the 12 months following the legislation change. I also searched Ministry of Justice reports to study how many FGM protection orders (FGMPOs) and convictions have been made.
Results Data revealed similar numbers of new cases of FGM reported in each 3-month period since October 2015 (1242, 1293 and 1204 respectively). However, there are large gaps in the data. Since July 2015, there have been 97 applications for FGMPOs and 79 orders. There have still been no FGM related convictions in the UK, despite 32 cases being reported to have happened in the UK between January and September 2016.
Discussion The results are disappointing and we are yet to see substantial change. £4million has been spent and 22,000 FGM training sessions have been delivered but we are still failing to report properly and prosecute offenders. To achieve 2015’s Sustainable Development Goals, the UK must play its part to help end FGM.
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