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Funding needed for FGM Centre as 5,000 new cases of abuse recorded in 2016-17

There have been 11,471 newly recorded cases of abuse within Female Genital Mutilation in England over the last two years, according to the latest figures.

The NHS Digital figures show that there were 6,080 cases recorded in the financial year 2015-2016 and 5,391 newly recorded cases for the financial year 2016-2017.

While the figures have decreased suggesting progress is being made in tackling this form of child abuse, the National FGM Centre established to eradicate FGM is facing a funding crisis and urging the government for increased investment.

The NHS Digital figures, covering the period from April 2016 to March 2017, show that of the 5,391 cases, the practice had been undertaken in the UK in 57 instances. The most common time when FGM was undertaken was between the ages of five and nine, accounting for 44 per cent of the total number of cases where the age at the time of being cut was known.

The National FGM Centre, run by Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association, says the statistics released show more money must be found so its vital work can continue beyond this month when the current funding ends.

Director of the National FGM Centre, Michelle Lee-Izu said: “Whilst we are making progress in tackling FGM, the figures show it is still being practiced in communities across England.

“The Centre’s remit is to help eradicate FGM for girls and women living in England by 2030 but this will not happen if it closes down just two years after being set up by the government.

“The government has said it is committed to ending FGM and more funding needs to be found so the Centre’s work can continue,” she added.

The Centre raises awareness in schools and communities and trains professionals like social workers and teachers to spot girls at risk of FGM and know how to report it.

Working in six pilot sites across England it supports girls who are at risk of FGM, as well as those who have undergone the procedure.

 

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