Refuge calls on Government to fund specialist FGM support services for women and children

The Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons has today (Saturday 15 March 2015) published a report into Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which says that the ‘buck passing’ for failing to prosecute FGM must stop. In response to the report, Refuge is calling on the Government to fund services which support babies, girls and women who are at risk of – or who have experienced – FGM.

 Commenting on the report, Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge, says:

“Refuge is today calling onSandra Horley CORRECT HEADSHOT 2014 the Government to put in place a fully funded national programme – which integrates prevention, protection and provision of specialist services – to support those who have experienced, or are at risk of experiencing, FGM.

“Prevention and awareness-raising campaigns will ensure that all professionals and members of the public know how to recognise, respond to and reject FGM. Protection of those who are at risk of FGM will be achieved through rigorous training and law-enforcement; this in turn will lead to effective prosecution of those who abuse children and women. It is not rocket science – we will only see successful prosecutions if we get the basics right first.

“Alongside prevention and protection measures, there must also be adequate funding for essential specialist FGM services – not only to prevent babies, girls and women from experiencing FGM in the first place but to support survivors afterwards to cope with the devastating, and often life-threatening, long-term physical and emotional health consequences of FGM.

“FGM is a global problem but it needs a strong national response. The Government must bring this dangerous and life threatening practice to an end – once and for all.”