FGM is sometimes called female circumcision or female genital cutting.
The terms ‘FGM’ or ‘cut’ are also common ones, although they are still not always understood by those in practicing communities, largely because they are English expressions. Others include the Somali ‘Gudnin’ and the Sudanese ‘Tahur’.
A person is guilty of an FGM offence If they remove, stitch, obstruct or otherwise mutilate all or any part of a girl or woman’s labia majora, labia minora or clitoris.
How you may be affected
As well as the physical impact of FGM, victims can be deeply affected emotionally by a range of feelings, such as isolation, worry and anxiety. It is often not discussed or reported for a number of reasons.
Victims might be embarrassed or ashamed about what has happened to them. Also, they may come under pressure from relatives or community members not to tell anyone, or worry that talking about it will bring dishonour on their family or get somebody into trouble.
That’s why it’s vital for you to know that if you come to us for support and advice, anything you tell us will be treated in confidence and you don’t have to report a crime.
So, if you can talk, you can always get our support. Remember, nothing that has happened to you is your fault.
We realise that this is a very sensitive issue for you but if you feel alone and that no-one can help, just talking to someone here about what you are going through will make you realise that there are people on your side who will support you and help you understand what your choices are and how you can move on.