Last week, the abhorrent practices of Dr. Fakhruddin Attar and emergency room physician, Jumana Nagarwala were exposed after they performed female genital mutilation (FGM) procedures after-hours at a medical practice just outside of Detroit.
It was alarming enough for something like this to transpire in the United States – so naturally, the mind may wander to question how the United Kingdom – with their unfettered open borders policy and shipping in of migrants en masse – fares in comparison to the U.S.’s few recorded cases of the brutal practice.
The answer is much, much worse…
In just one year, the number of girls in England who have experienced or are at risk of FGM has more than doubled, according to social workers.
Between 2017 and 2018, the number of cases of female genital mutilation rose to 1,960; compared to only 970 the year before. The increase was attributed to better detection by social workers and experts claim that the true occurrence of FGM cases is likely to be much higher, as it remains a hidden and silent crime.
As it stands, more than 30 cases a week are now coming to the attention of social workers in the U.K. – seeing to the unprecedented rise of cases in such a short time.
Anita Lower, Local Government Association (LGA) lead on the FGM epidemic, said:
These figures show the worrying prevalence of FGM, which is ruining lives and destroying communities. At a time when they should be preparing for adult life and enjoying being young, no girl or young woman should be subject to the horrors of genital mutilation, which is child abuse and cannot be justified for any reason.
Anita’s group is calling for more government funding for children’s services and for the National FGM Center – an initiative between Anita’s LGA and the Barnardo’s organization, which does work in communities affected by FGM and builds connections with families to try and prevent the practice.
Over the last two and a half years, the National FGM Center has worked with 354 families and issued 22 FGM protection orders. The protection orders impose conditions to protect victimized girls and prevent potential victims such as surrendering passports from family members so young girls can’t be taken outside of the country for female genital mutilation procedures.
Leethen Bartholomew, head of the National FGM Center, stated:
While we are making progress in tackling FGM, these alarming statistics show it is still being practiced in communities across England. Even more concerning is that these figures are likely to just be the tip of the iceberg because many cases of FGM go undetected.
Although FGM has been banned in the United Kingdom since 1995, it’s plain that the procedure is still practiced across communities. Figures from the National Health Service has shown that medical staff recorded a total of 4,495 new cases of FGM over 12 months – or the equivalent of one girl undergoing the procedure every two hours.
137,000 women and girls in Britain are estimated to be victims of the abuse but not a single prosecution regarding the inhumane practice has seen the light of day.
With the Western world vying and standing up for women’s rights and equality, one must wonder how something as abhorrent as FGM is allowed to skate by without any outrage or furor.