Advanced search

AIBU to wonder why FGM is effectively legal?

(85 Posts)
CuboidalSlipshoddy Thu 21-Jul-16 15:23:19

5700 cases of Female Genital Mutilation the 2015–16.

43% took place between the ages of 5 and 9.

Not a single arrest, prosecution or conviction.

If a child aged 5 to 9 is a victim of genital mutilation, the parents are probably at fault, and should certainly be interviewed under caution with a view to prosecution. Crap about "multiculturalism" or "who are we to judge" are just saying that non-white children deserve lesser, and fewer, rights than white children.

Instead, we have a policy, enacted by doctors, nurses and social workers, of not pursuing such cases out of a completely misguided sense of "oh noes, we might be waycist".

branofthemist Thu 21-Jul-16 15:34:30

There was a case taken to court and it was farce. I believe it was down to a cut made during labour. The case fell apart.

I am dyslexic so excuse me if I have misunderstood. But it looks like the majority of those cases didn't happen inside the uk. And have been discovered when the girls are older (during pregnancy). The only people they could effectively prosecute are the parents. Who are unlikely this admit who actually carried it out. They are reluctant to do that. Personally I think they should.

This doesn't happen in gp surgeries. It happens off the grid. If the community supports fgm, they won't tell people who is doing it. It very difficult to trace and catch someone in the act or have evidence they performed it.

MrsJayy Thu 21-Jul-16 15:40:06

I agree with a Pp this is more than likely adult women who possibly didnt live in the uk at the time and who are they going to prosecute ? It is horrific

Ikeameatballs Thu 21-Jul-16 16:01:10

You are very misguided if you think that agencies are not pursuing potential prosecutions due to a sense of multiculturalism.

The data you link to identifies 43 girls who were born in the UK who experienced FGM with 18 cases where FGM was thought to take place in the UK. Whilst this is unacceptable it does not reflect the headline figure you quoted.

In the LA where I work there are huge levels of training and awareness raising across agencies re FGM. It is part of the safeguarding strategy put forwards by the LSCB and our acute hospital trust and clinical commissioning group. A lot of resource is directed by those professionals you criticise into unearthing FGM however prosecution can be much more complex.

As an example recently I know of a case where parents were to be prosecuted. They had their passports removed by the police however their embassy gave them new passports and they were able to flee the country to their country of origin which has no extradition treaty with the U.K. Many hours of professional time went into this case.I would imagine that there are likely to be similar stories across the country.

Your post has, imo, shown up your own prejudices rather than identified real issues with professionals accepting abuse as a cultural practice.

Dontlikejam Thu 21-Jul-16 16:05:30

"Waycist" - FFS grow up.
Any evidence that professionals are ignoring it?

harderandharder2breathe Thu 21-Jul-16 16:14:05

FGM is not legal, agencies in the uk do not turn a blind eye or make excuses for it.

Girls can be placed under protection orders if they or others are concerned about an immediate risk of them being taken for FGM.

However, I'm sure many girls don't feel able to speak up and even if they do to follow through a lengthy legal battle against their own family who did this (or took them to have it done). Imagine being under constant pressure and threat of being ostracised from your family and your culture for speaking out, and these are CHILDREN.

It's a difficult subject and of course should be strictly prohibited, cases prosecuted and girls protected... But it's just not that simple in practice unfortunately.

toadgirl Thu 21-Jul-16 16:18:07

I know that gynaecologists/obstetricians in the UK tell mums who have had FGM and who have given birth to daughters that FGM is illegal here.

megletthesecond Thu 21-Jul-16 16:23:36

ikea that's so depressing hearing about those parents getting away.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Thu 21-Jul-16 16:33:48

FGM is not legal, agencies in the uk do not turn a blind eye or make excuses for it.

From my city's LSCB's handbook:

"Where a child has been identified as having suffered, or being likely to suffer, significant harm, it may not always be appropriate to remove the child from an otherwise loving family environment."

"Parents and carers may genuinely believe that it is in the girl’s best interest to conform to their prevailing custom"

"Professionals should work in a sensitive manner with families"

"If the operation has already taken place practitioners should focus on...Support the family may need in the face of community pressure."

How is "supporting the family" AFTER THEY HAVE MUTILATED THEIR CHILD not making excuses? How is "working sensitively" with "otherwise loving family" who "genuinely believe that it is in the girl’s best interest" not making excuses?

BengalCatMum Thu 21-Jul-16 16:54:05

I agree that we need to do more and take a hard line. I think there needs to be an education drive for all children and distribute information to the parents through schools too.

carefreeeee Thu 21-Jul-16 16:57:28

But would it be better for the child who has already had it done to remove them from their family? And put them into care where they are bound to suffer more in other ways. Once they've had it done there doesn't seem much point. Of course other girls in the family should be protected. And if they only find out once that child is an adult (ie. pregnant in most cases) it is difficult to do anything about it.

If parents who colluded were sent to jail for child abuse it might cause more suffering for the child involved. (Their other adult relatives probably colluded too so again, they would just end up in care). It's not the same as other abuse in that it is just one (admittedly horrific) thing - it's not going to escalate further.

Education and community work with advocates from the same back ground is more likely to be effective imo.

branofthemist Thu 21-Jul-16 17:03:35

Once they've had it done there doesn't seem much point.

Not sure I entirely agree. If a child has parents whose are then entrenched in their 'culture' they are willing to mutilate their child, I think there could be an argument for removing them.

I think it's a definite marker of other emotional abuse.

I agree it's not easy to prosecute.

CuboidalSlipshoddy Thu 21-Jul-16 17:06:04

Of course other girls in the family should be protected.

By doing nothing, presumably. Oh yes, "by working sensitively".

CuboidalSlipshoddy Thu 21-Jul-16 17:09:39

If parents who colluded were sent to jail for child abuse it might cause more suffering for the child involved.

That argument could be used in every child abuse case which hasn't resulted in death. Presumably you think that parents who beat their children severely shouldn't be punished? And if that's not the case, what's the difference?

Plenty of violent parents believe that beating their children is in their child's best interests (discipline, strength). Plenty of violent parents do so out of a misplaces "cultural" incentive (my father beat me, didn't do me any harm). Plenty of children (or other victims of domestic violence) feel a misplaced loyalty to their abuser. Prosecutions in DV cases are notoriously difficult, and it's an underreported crime: nonetheless, the number of such prosecutions is not zero.

Woodhill Thu 21-Jul-16 17:25:28

Will the FGM dd grow up to do that to their own Dds or are attitudes changing?

Ikeameatballs Thu 21-Jul-16 17:44:13

I would hope that the relatively new offence of Failing to Protect from FGM would overcome some of the difficulties around prosecution.

CashelGirl Thu 21-Jul-16 17:53:47

If you look at the age when this abuse is likely to happen I think schools need to vastly improve their practice about spitting the warning signs. In the LA where I work all midwives ask all women at booking about it and offer advice, support and referral to Childrens Social Care as a matter of routine, and have been doing for at least the last 5 years. But if schools aren't talking to their children about this, or listening out for children talking about having a big party of celebration, especially if they are leaving the country, then we aren't going to find out until it is too late.

branofthemist Thu 21-Jul-16 18:26:07

Surely, just like with arranged marriages, the kids wouldn't be told prior to this.

Or won't be told if teachers start reporting kids going away for a party?

tb Thu 21-Jul-16 18:45:07

Back in the 1980s when concerns first began to be raised about FGM there was a massive failure to prosecute a known GP in the Midlands that practiced FGM on request in the UK.

Hopefully, he isn't still practising.......he was named in the press (from memory) but not hauled before the BMA, or the courts.

Wolpertinger Thu 21-Jul-16 19:47:05

The case taken to court was a farce because it was in no way a case of FGM in the UK. It was a case of a woman who had had FGM previously outside of the UK who was now bleeding post labour who needed a stitch to stop her bleeding. The entirely innocent doctor was reported as commiting FGM - he was rightly acquited when the case fell apart but not without huge stress to him and his family.

The whole thing was politically driven as there hadn't been a UK prosecution for FGM and he was a scapegoat. The UK Obs and Gynae community, especially the leading expert on treating women with FGM was up in arms about it.

manicinsomniac Thu 21-Jul-16 21:57:11

Regarding schools -

As a teacher, FGM is the only form of abuse where, if I know that it has happened or is soon likely to happen I am required, by law, to phone the police myself straight away rather than go through the safeguarding officer who will call social services etc.

So they are trying to take it seriously I think.

IdaDown Thu 21-Jul-16 22:14:25

It must be very difficult if you are in gynae/midwifery field.

If you have a patient either through pregnancy/birth/other who is experiencing problems due to FGM and requires surgical help what do you do if the patient demands a repair back to the original FGM state?

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 21-Jul-16 22:31:21

I read that 80% of the victims are Somali - and it happens in Somalia

So ..... Their president needs to follow through and ban it .

It's fucking grim - that they actually fly them home . And we are NOT addressing the education of the mother at all - as they are the ones that drive it . Start there

TheCuriousOwl Thu 21-Jul-16 22:38:44

IdaDown - we advise women that FGM is illegal in this country. Reinfibulation is illegal. We can't 're-sew' women with type 4 FGM back to their FGM state. We do have specialists who can counsel women afterwards.

Many women have FGM reversal during pregnancy to prepare for the birth.

If a woman expresses that she disagrees and will be getting her daughter 'cut' then we will involve social services.

We also ask all women if they've had FGM, no assumptions made, and also, I've never ever known a professional say that they would make excuses for anyone who wanted to perpetrate FGM on someone regardless of ethnic origin.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Fri 22-Jul-16 06:45:03

Ignore it? I don't think so. Not where I work anyway. Since the new guidance came out I would say it's exactly the opposite. Everyone is terrified of breaking the law by not reporting it.

Recently a midwife called the police (999) in the middle of the night for a labouring woman who had FGM. And the police turned up! hmm

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now