Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is being offered in the United Kingdom by doctors, dentists, and alternative medicine practitioners, according to reports.
As many as 100,000 young women in Great Britain have undergone FGM by those offering to carry out the illegal procedure on girls as young as 10 years of age. The practice, which carries a 14 year prison sentence, involves the surgical removal of external genitalia and in some cases the stitching of the vaginal opening in an effort to decrease the sex drive.
Practitioners willing to perform the procedure or willing to set up the procedure were recently secretly filmed by investigators from the Sunday Times. It is also against the law to arrange FGM.
Female Genital Mutilation is widespread across parts of Africa, where victims are rarely given anaesthetic and frequently even suffer continuing damage and pain from the operation long after the fact.
Every year more than 22,000 girls in Great Britain and 6,000 in London are at risk of the possible life threatening procedure. According to Forward, a charity which campaigns against FGM, an estimated 100,000 women in the UK have undergone mutilation.
Across all 43 forces in England and Wales, no one has ever been convicted of the offence, according to the Sunday Times, and only two doctors have ever been struck off by the General Medical Council since 1980.
Model Waris Dirie was mutilated as a child and is now a strong opponent of the practice. Urging for a harsher crackdown on those that perform the procedure she stated:
“If a white girl is abused, the police come break down the door. If a black girl is mutilated, nobody takes care of her. This is what I call racism.”
Check out the video below for information on FGM and how it affects those that are forced to undergo the procedure.