This page is for information and guidance on managing concerns related to female genital mutilation (FGM).



To report FGM

If a person is in imminent danger of FGM call the police on 999

If a person is at risk of FGM call the Police on 101

For all other reporting call Customer First on 0808 800 4005

Advice can be accessed through the Make a Change team on 01473 263690




What is FGM?


The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines female genital mutilation (FGM) as all procedures that that involve partial or total removal of the genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. FGM is recognised as a violation of human rights (WHO 2017). There are no medical reasons to carry out FGM, several health implications can result following it including, difficulties in; urinating, menstruation and complications in birth (National FGM Centre 2017). Some women have been brave enough to speak out about FGM, listen to Sarian’s and Khadija’s stories.

In the UK, it is against the law to practice FGM or to support a child going overseas to have FGM carried out. Regulated health and social care professionals have a duty to report known cases of FGM (Home Office 2016).

Different types of FGM mutilation     

     There are four different types of FGM

     Type 1: Clitoridectomy

     Type 2: Excision

     Type 3: Infibulation

     Type 4: Other


As part of a piece of work on hidden harms Suffolk Refugee Support and students from the University of Suffolk's games design course have produced an online interactive resource available in English, Polish, Kurdish and Arabic to provide information about hidden harms  including FGM that also checks back on users understanding.

Incidence of FGM 

This map contains information about the prevalence rates for various countries across the world including local information (National FGM Centre 2019). 

Information about prevalence in the UK can be accessed by the current NHS dataset found here. Most of the cases are reported via NHS organisations (obstetrics, gynaecology and midwifery). 

Suffolk annual statistics reported 2018/19 reported between 8-12 FGM related attendances, with between 3-7 new cases (NHS Digital July 2019). The previous reporting period noted 12 cases.  In Suffolk, there is no longer a clear picture of countries, areas or ages associated with FGM (NHS 2019).  Prevalence of FGM remains below national levels. In 2015 Public Health Suffolk reported on FGM. This Health Needs Assessment informed work in this area.



FGM is a safeguarding issue (NSPCC 2017). The Home Office provides advice on preventative measures. See here for the Department of Health's National FGM Safeguarding Pathway

In Suffolk the Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) coordinates this work. The Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) addresses concerns about abuse including FGM. If you would like to discuss a situation/safe guarding referral, please contact the MASH Consultation Line on 0345 606 1499.

Local FGM referral pathways are also in place. Local FGM Safeguarding Pathway for over 18sLocal FGM Safeguarding Pathway for under 18s.

An FGM Protection Order (FGMPO) is a legal document issued by the family courts. FGMPO’s intend to protect girls and women who are risk of the procedure of FGM. You do not have to pay to apply for the order or reveal your identity. A person at risk of FGM, the local authority or anybody the court gives permission to, such as police or teachers, can apply for a FGMPO.

Organisations offering information and resources

National Organisations

World Health Authority (WHO)

National FGM CentreNSPCC and Child-line 

Home Office prevention and Home Office campaign materials. The Dept. of Health and Social Care  guidance on FGM.

Home Office campaign impact on health of FGM






NHS EnglandRoyal College of Nursing 

Daughters of EveEquality NowFORWARD

Local Organisations

Suffolk Police FGM specific advice

Make a Change Team, working with young people at risk of exploitation. Contact at MAC@suffok.gcsx.gov.uk

The Source information for young people

iCash Suffolk’s integrated contraception and sexual health service

Suffolk Refugee Support working with at risk groups

Bal Kaur Howard Training local training provider

Further Resources 

Barnardos assessment tool and good practice guidance specifically for social workers.

National FGM Centre legal fact sheet to highlight the different FGM legislation in the UK.

Care Knowledge summary of FGM resources and information. Account access required.

NHS Safeguarding App for healthcare professionals . Download by clicking the links below.

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Mandatory reporting, safeguarding and guidance documents

Acute Hospitals FGM Policies

The Ipswich Hospital NHS TrustJames Paget University HospitalWest Suffolk Hospital

Guidance for Professionals

Department of Health  and Social Care – FGM risk and safeguarding 2016

East Suffolk and North Foundation Trust (Ipswich Hospital) West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups – FGM guidance for professionals 2015 

Department of Health and Social Care – FGM dataset requirements for NHS staff 2015

Home Office – Duty to Report summary and procedure (health, social care and teaching staff) 

Public Health: Guide for School Staff (spotting, reporting and resources)


Last updated: December 2019
Next review:  February 2020