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“A Statistical Study to Estimate the Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in England and Wales”, funded by this Department, was published by Forward in October 2007. Copies of this publication have been placed in the Library.
Data about the numbers of girls and women admitted to hospital or killed as a result of this crime are not available centrally.
Type III FGM is described as excision of part or all of the external genitalia and stitching/narrowing of the vaginal opening (infibulation). Type II FGM is described as excision of the clitoris with partial or total removal of the labia minora.
In 2004, the Home Office issued a circular to all chief officers of police in England and Wales providing guidance on the investigation of cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) under the provisions of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003.
In April 2008, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) revised and re-issued its practice guidance on investigating domestic abuse, which includes dealing with cases of FGM.
Over the last few months, the Home Office has also been working closely with ACPO to develop an honour-based action plan that will cover specific areas; adopting a co-ordinated community response to prevent and reduce honour-based violence, ensuring that all reports of honour-based violence are investigated, facilitating effective accountability of offenders through the criminal justice system and increasing awareness. We will be reporting progress on this work on a regular basis.
Data on the number of girls taken abroad each year for the purposes of female genital mutilation (FGM) are not routinely collected by this Department.
However, an estimate on the number of girls under 15 who are at risk of FGM in the UK was published in a research study conducted by the Foundation for Women’s Health and Development (FORWARD) in October 2007. The study found that there are over 20,000 girls who are at risk or may have undergone FGM living in the UK.