Detectives from the child abuse investigation and safeguarding department have issued two further Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) protection orders.
Officers in Sheffield have presented two separate cases before a judge at Sheffield Family Court, to obtain protection orders for four young victims.
The first application was made to protect a 12-year-old victim, who was identified as being the subject of FGM outside of the UK a number of years ago. Although the victim has already been exposed to FGM, the order granted now allows officers to work with partners to ensure the appropriate support and healthcare measures are in place for the young girl.
The second application issued last week, was for three young sisters, aged 1, 4 and 6, who were identify to be of at risk of being taken out of the country for the harmful procedure to be carried out.
Under the order granted officers have now been able to seize the passports of the victims to prevent them for being exposed to this harmful abuse.
These applications make the fourth orders issued by officers this year and are just one of the methods used to protect and prevent FGM, as force lead for honour based abuse T/Detective Inspector Suzanne Jackson explains: “Across the force we work with partners, community groups and public services to raise awareness of FGM and the harm it causes. This partnership collaboration is absolutely crucial in our work to prevent FGM and protect both victims and potential victims of this abuse.
“FGM causes both physical and psychological effects, and our priority is to keep victims safe, take all action to raise awareness and encourage reporting.
“It is often the case in many of these incidents, FGM has already occurred historically outside of the UK, therefore due this being outside of our jurisdiction we are unable to make arrests.
“Although we aren’t able to make arrests we instead work to safeguard victims from further harm and put measures in place to ensure girls born into families where FGM has occurred are not subject to this. We also work with our partners to make to anyone who sees this practice as a cultural norm, that this is a serious and violent crime and perpetrators could face up to 14-years imprisonment should they continue this practice either within the UK, or by taking girls abroad for FGM.
“To help us achieve this it is vital anyone, whether that is teachers, health professionals or family members with concerns over the safety of children or women who are suspected as becoming, or having been the victim of FGM, reports it.
“There is support and help available for everyone and by reporting any concerns, it allows us to investigation and take the necessary action to protect members of our community.
“If you have any concerns or notice parents and carers requesting extended leave to countries where harmful cultural practices like forced marriages and FGM still continue, I would urge you to not be afraid to question it and report it.
“Honour based abuse of any kind is not acceptable and I’d like to offer my reassurance that we are committed to working to stop it.”
If you have any concerns in relation to forced marriage or FGM please contact either police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also get support and information from third party support centres such as Ashiana on 0114 255 5740 and Karma Nirvana 0800 5999 247.