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UK

If you or someone you know has experienced FGM (female genital mutilation) or feels that they are at risk of FGM, you can access specialist support to answer your questions and address your needs.

What if I am afraid of undergoing FGM, or if I am worried that someone I know is at risk of FGM?

If you suspect or believe that you or someone you know is at risk of undergoing FGM, then it is important to take action and report it immediately – you can make a difference.

FGM is a form of child abuse in the UK and is a violation of human rights. You should expect your concern to be taken seriously.

You can take action to protect a girl from FGM by taking one of the following steps:

  • Call FORWARD at 020 8960 4000. We are open Monday – Friday 9.30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. but outside these hours you must call any of the agencies below.
  • Contact your local authority’s Social Services Department
  • Ring your local police Child Protection Unit (in London you can contact the Met Police Child Abuse Investigation Command on 020 7161 2888)
  • Call the NSPCC FGM Helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk

What if I have undergone FGM, or if I know someone who has?

Girls and women who have had FGM may need to access specialist health services and emotional support.

General health services: Your GP, midwife, or health visitor, can help with any health concerns, including those associated with FGM. Make an appointment with them if you need any health advice. You can also ask them to refer you to an FGM specialist service. In the UK, health providers are increasingly becoming aware of FGM, but this may not be the case in all areas.

Specialist FGM health clinics: Some hospitals and clinics also provide specialist FGM services. These services are free and provide a wide range of medical support, advice and information to girls or women that have undergone FGM. They are staffed with professionals such as nurses, doctors, midwives, counsellors, and outreach workers from BME communities who have extensive experience in dealing with FGM and understand the cultural reasons behind the practice.
Some specialist clinics are able to provide a simple operation called de-infibulation. This opens up the closed form of Type 3 FGM and helps to restore the natural vaginal opening.

FORWARD can help you access specialist health services. If you would like more information about this, call us on 020 8960 4000, or email support@forwarduk.org.uk

What happens if I report that a girl has either undergone FGM or is at risk of FGM in the UK?

If you report that someone is at risk or has undergone FGM this will be treated confidentially. Professionals are required to treat any reported case of FGM as a child protection issue and start a child protection referral. This means that the local authority’s children’s services will treat this as a serious concern and organise a meeting to assess the case and find ways to best protect the child. This investigation will also try to find out if other siblings in the family are at risk of FGM. Parents will be part of this meeting to discuss the concerns. A girl will NOT automatically be taken away from her home. This will only happen in rare cases where the parents fail to guarantee that they will not carry out FGM on their daughter.

What if I am afraid of being forced to marry, or if I am worried that someone I know is at risk of being forced to marry?

If you are worried about being forced into a marriage or being taken abroad against your will, please take the following steps:

  • Call IKWRO on 020 7920 6460 between 9.30-5.30 on Monday to Friday. For our out of hours emergency lines please call 07846 275 246 or 07846 310 157
  • Contact the Forced Marriage Unit on 020 7008 0151
  • If you are in immediate danger call 999

If you are unable to contact authorities before you leave then do the following:

  • Gather some foreign currency with you, enough to pay for emergency phone calls, taxis, food or hotels
  • Find a mobile phone that works overseas, take it with you and keep it hidden
  • Obtain contact details for the nearest British Embassy in the area you are travelling to

Additionally obtain the following information. Keep this information stored with you at all times and send a copy to IKWRO or the Forced Marriage Unit.

  • Name, date of birth, and parent’s names
  • Passport and tickets photocopies (email yourself a copy of both)
  • Overseas contact details and address of where you will be staying
  • Who you are travelling with, and family members staying in the UK
  • UK address and telephone number
  • A recent photograph
  • Contact details of someone you trust in the UK
  • Departure and expected return dates

You can also apply for a forced marriage protection order; The terms of the order can impose prohibitions, requirements and restrictions in order to protect the person at risk. Examples of the terms the court might order are:

  • To prevent a forced marriage from occurring
  • To hand over passport or travel documents
  • To stop intimidation or violence
  • To reveal the whereabouts of a person
  • To stop someone from being taken abroad

For any more information please contact us on 020 7920 6460 or email us at info@ikwro.org.uk

What if I am in a forced marriage, or if I know someone who is?

If you have been forced into a marriage please contact IKWRO on 020 7920 6460. Our advisors will support and guide you through the next steps to reach safety
You can also contact the forced marriage unit on 020 7008 0151
Or in the case of an emergency contact the police on 999

What happens if I report that a girl has either been forced to marry or is at risk of forced marriage in the UK?

If you report that someone has been forced to marry or is at risk of having a forced marriage, the first thing that would be done is a risk assessment. This shows the level of risk, and from this we can produce a safety plan. Depending on the age of the person at risk, we would act accordingly. If the person that is forced to marry or is at risk, is under 18, we would contact the social services to apply for a Forced Marriage Protection Order and attend court with them if they are unable to get a solicitor.

We would always contact the Forced Marriage Unit; they are professionals within this area and have very good contacts with other countries which would help greatly if the girl has been taken outside of the UK to be forced to marry. We would flag up the case with the police and immigration officers to ensure the victim will not be taken out of the UK.

If the person who is forced into the marriage is in the UK, we will help get them out of the situation safely, and find them same accommodation, in some high risk cases further help may be needed, for example they may need to go into hiding as they will be at risk of ‘honour’ based violence.

Other support:

FORWARD can support girls and women affected by FGM. We can provide: One to one and group support and information to women and girls affected by FGM, help accessing specialist FGM clinics and counselling including accompaniment. We also provide advice and guidance to professionals who are working with someone concerned about FGM.

IKWRO can support women and girls affected by forced marriage, ‘honour’ based violence, domestic violence and FGM. We can provide advice on what the next steps are to assure your safety. We run a counselling service and support groups for adults and young women. We also train professionals so ensure they know how to deal with issues facing ethnic minority women and we also run trainings for women of the affected communities on their rights and entitlements.
 

The Netherlands

What if I am afraid of undergoing FGM, or if I am worried that someone I know is at risk of FGM?

  • Contact FSAN at +3120 486 1628 and we will provide support.
  • Contact the Youth Care Agency or the Child Abuse Counselling and Reporting Centre (AMK) in the Netherlands. Their telephone number is 0900-1231230, www.amk-nederland.nl. The AMK has expertise in regards to how to deal with child abuse. They can help and give advice on how to proceed if a girl is at risk of FGM.

What if I have undergone FGM, or if I know someone who has?

  • FSAN can support girls and woman that have undergone FGM.
  • There also consultation hours in many clinics and hospitals in the Netherlands for women who have undergone FGM. Contact FSAN so that we can refer you to a consultation hour in your region or go the GGD website, www.ggd.nl for more information about the consultation.

What happens if I report that a girl has either undergone FGM or is at risk of FGM?

Once the Youth Care Agency or the Child Abuse Counselling and Reporting Centre (AMK) receives a report they will start an investigation to determine the actual risk of FGM. It’s possible to report FGM to the AMK anonymously. They will take the necessary steps and have consultation with the parties involved for example the parents, GP and school.

What if I am afraid of being forced to marry, or if I am worried that someone I know is at risk of being forced to marry?

Contact the Domestic Violence Counselling and Reporting Centre (Advies- en steunpunt Huiselijk Geweld): 0900-1262626. This number can be dialled only if you are in the Netherlands.

What if I am in a forced marriage, or if I know someone who is?

  • Contact the Domestic Violence Counselling and Reporting Centre (Advies- en steunpunt Huiselijk Geweld): 0900-1262626. This number can be dialled only if you are in the Netherlands.
  • If there is an imminent threat or acts of violence contact the police by dialling 112.

What happens if I report that a girl has either been forced to marry or is at risk of forced marriage in the Netherlands?

If you contact the Domestic Violence Counselling and Reporting Centre they will you advice on how to proceed. After an assessment of the situation you and the ASHG can decide to officially report a case of forced marriage and they will proceed with the necessary steps in order to help the victim.
 

Portugal

What if I am afraid of undergoing FGM, or if I am worried that someone I know is at risk of FGM?

Please contact
Associaĉão para o Planeamento da Família – 21 385 39 93
Or call:
Police – 112
Child Protection Services – 21 842 06 23

What if I have undergone FGM, or if I know someone who has?

Please contact
Associaĉão para o Planeamento da Família – 21 385 39 93
We will follow you to the right authorities and support systems.

What happens if I report that a girl has either undergone FGM or is at risk of FGM?

There are some legal procedures of protection that must be carried on from the moment this report happens.

What if I am afraid of being forced to marry, or if I am worried that someone I know is at risk of being forced to marry?

Please contact
Associação para o Planeamento da Família – 21 385 39 93
Or call:
Police – 112
Child Protection Services (if under 18)– 21 842 06 23

What if I am in a forced marriage, or if I know someone who is?

Please contact
Associaĉão para o Planeamento da Família – 21 385 39 93
Or call:
Police – 112
Child Protection Services (if under 18) – 21 842 06 23

What happens if I report that a girl has either been forced to marry or is at risk of forced marriage in the Portugal?

There are some legal procedures of protection that must be carried on from the moment this report happens.