FGM is a very entrenched cultural practice which is prevalent across England. It involves the cutting or circumcision or mutilation of parts of a woman’s genitalia for non-medical reasons.
AFRUCA’s work in Greater Manchester focuses on addressing the increasing cases of children at risk of and subjected to Female Genital Mutilation. Greater Manchester Police recorded 26 cases between June 2014 and June 2015 rising to 96 between June 2015 and June 2016. AFRUCA Research Report on FGM across Greater Manchester: “Voices of the Community: Exploring FGM in African Communities Across Greater Manchester produced in March 2015 support above figures. We found FGM present among 12 African communities with many people not aware it is illegal in England. Our research highlighted the “culture of silence” around FGM which is seen as a “private practice” in many families. This has implications for protection of children at risk.
AFRUCA has imbibed a collaborative approach to our work on FGM. We have developed close working relationships as follows:
- With local schools where our Anti-FGM Champions go to pass on the message and educate other young people. This is a peer-to-peer approach where young people take responsibility for educating others and helping to safeguard their peers who may be at risk
- Work with statutory agencies including the Police and Children’s Services in the assessment of related cases. Our Emotional Wellbeing Officer is active here as she is usually called upon to provide emotional support to families where children have to undergo a “medical” to ensure they have not been circumcised or cut. This part of our work is growing rapidly, corresponding to the high numbers of referrals across Greater Manchester. As part of our ongoing “FGM Emotional Well-Being” project across Greater Manchester, between April and July 2016, we received 15 cases where children have either been suspected of undergoing FGM or where there is a risk of it happening.
- We are running training sessions on FGM in partnership with other community and faith organisations. These collaborative approaches help to ensure that others have a stake in this process of change which is critical for safeguarding children in the African community
- We are members of a number of local forums on FGM where we are able to share knowledge and understanding of key issues. We are members of the Manchester City FGM Forum and the Greater Manchester FGM Forum.
- We have produced specific educational material on FGM both for adults and children. Our publications “What is FGM?” and “What is FGM? (children’s version) have been downloaded on our website multiple times.
Increasingly, our work on FGM is growing beyond Greater Manchester as we are invited to participate at local events, or speak at conferences or run training course. We are looking for opportunities to expand our work accordingly.
Read more about our work on FGM
Updated July 2016