Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North

Female Genital Mutilation: Please be aware

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 20 June 2018 13:29

You may have seen a recent article in the EDP concerning the rise in the number of cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) being reported in Norfolk. I spoke about this report with Freedom Charity, who have told me that this rise can be partially attributed to the work they do.

Freedom Charity campaigns against forced marriage, and education around the issues of FGM. The charity have recently been involved in training local A&E staff and midwives about the issue of FGM, including recognising the signs and types of mutilation. Part of this rise in reported cases is linked to staff being more aware of the issue.
FGM is illegal in this country, and is something that schools, colleges and support workers need to be aware of, and as well as learn how to support people who may have been a victim of it, or are at risk.

To raise awareness of this issue, Freedom are encouraging people to wear the national symbol of the Red Triangle, as part of their campaign. I have been proud to wear the Red Triangle and support them in their efforts.
I have also been proud to support legislation against FGM through the 2015 Serious Crime Act, which makes it an offence to take someone abroad to perform FGM.

Founder of Freedom Charity, Aneeta Prem has said: “During the training we were really encouraged by the how all professionals wanted to see an end to this barbaric practice and by wearing the Red Triangle you are showing support to end this practice in a generation Being taught the right language and how to deal with this in a sensitive way is important. However this is balanced with this is an extreme form of child abuse and we need to see successful prosecutions as a deterrent to this practice.”

As a supporter of Hellesdon-based Freedom Charity, I have been happy to support them and help share their message. I wanted to take the opportunity following the article to make you aware of this issue, and share details of Freedom Charity with you.

The charity do excellent work with schools and offer education around this issue. Summer time is called ‘the cutting season’, Freedom can supply schools with educational resources, including a free book called ‘Cut Flowers’, together with a lesson plan. If you’d like to know more, please visit: