535 Reports Of FGM In Bristol In 2017, 63% Had Already Reported FGM To Authorities
535 victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) were treated by the NHS last year in Bristol amid a national scandal of child abuse and rape among certain prominently Islamic communities.
Of the 535 victims treated, around 353 (62.6%) had already reported cases of FGM to the authorities and had already been treated.
The city, which has seen an increase in FGM in recent years, saw a frightening number of reports of female genitals being cut, injured or changed for no medical reason being treated by NHS specialists.
New figures released by NHS Digital also show at least two new victims reported FGM in North Somerset and at least three did so in South Gloucestershire, though some data from these areas has been hidden to prevent identification.
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Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG), an organisation campaigning against FGM in the area, said: “Mandatory reporting is key in allowing us to put the right services in place to ensure healthy, safe outcomes for affected women.
“The latest figures demonstrate the confidence that the community has in talking to healthcare professionals.
“We will continue to work closely with communities and our partners to protect women and girls and end FGM.”
Practicing FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985 and can carry a prison sentence of up to 14 years, yet not one person has ever been convicted of the crime.
In fact, only one person has ever been prosecuted for FGM – which was in Bristol – but this prosection ended in failure.
NHS staff have a legal obligation to report any cases they see of FGM to both the police and social services, and offer treatment to all patients, as well as ensuring parents are aware of the illegality of the act.