Provide a helpline for victims of female genital mutilation in the UK
Women, girls and their male friends and family have no access to confidential, impartial advice on female genital mutilation. Victims and potential victims are often too afraid to approach the police, teachers or health workers directly for fear of the consequences this will bring. Teachers, for example, are obliged to report any disclosure to the police and social services. Victims may not be ready for such interventions but are too isolated to stop the procedure happening to themselves, their friend or their family member.
Setting up a helpline where potential victims can talk through the medical implications of the procedure, discuss the consequences of reporting their fears to the police, or any of their other concerns is an essential step towards stopping FGM happening in the UK. Only by supporting people with advice and information can we hope to break the silence that allows the practice to flourish. Girls need support to say no to the procedure, and UK society need to understand why the practice continues to happen. Victims need a place to call for counseling, advice on post-operative health care and information on how to access support networks. We need to end the isolation of victims.
If you are unsure about signing this petition because you feel that you don't understand the issues around FGM in the UK then a documentary made by girls affected by the practice is available here www.stopfgm.org.uk.
At the end of a documentary, it is normal to advise people who have been affected by the issues it contained to call a helpline. We have started this petition because we – the documentary makers - had no number to offer listeners to call. We want this situation to change.