Finally Awareness Is Raised About Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Finally Awareness Is Raised About Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

This week the NSPCC pointed us all to a Huffington post blog that detailed the rise of this act in the UK. Many people believe that this diabolical ritual only affects those in other continents, however now doctors are seeing millions of girls and women that have been subjected to this abuse.

The abuse has not been committed from another country either, this practice is being performed on our very own turf, and now quite rightly the NSPCC are calling for the government to label this as child abuse, nothing less, in order to prosecute the parents no matter what their beliefs expect them to do.

Amazingly this painful and terrifying cutting of the vagina is not stipulated as part of any religion. In fact the majority of offenders are Christian, coming from Egypt, Ethiopia and to a lesser degree India, the USA and Europe. There are no Muslim, Islam, Hindu, and Catholic or Christian references to this in any of the religious books or when detailing history, yet it still carries on as part of a tradition as people believe it reduces a girls sexual desire and increases feminine hygiene.

Yet the positives the offenders think they give to a girl when cutting the genitals are overshadowed heavily by the negatives. Those who believe in FGM think it makes a woman pure before marriage, that it removes the risk of infection to a baby when born (as they consider the labia to be germ ridden) and also by removing the clitoris it stops a girl becoming sexually aroused.

In reality this barbaric act actually risks the life of an unborn baby during childbirth and a whopping five per cent die during labour and birth due to the vaginal canal being sewn so tightly shut that a woman cannot dilate during labour.

The procedure is often carried out without anaesthetic, and is severely painful as well as a risk to health as instruments are not properly sterilized. This has seen a rise in the spread of infections such as HIV.

Upon healing, as the skin builds new layers to connect broken tissue cysts and lumps may form, making it very uncomfortable and increasing the risk of infection. As well as this even into adulthood many women who have undergone the horrific procedure find they are blighted with infections as urine cannot escape so freely and neither can menstrual fluid.

If a sex life is sought, it is no doubt very painful as the scar tissue that heals over the wounds is not natural in anyway making penetration difficult and sore.

All of this details the physical effects yet the psychological effects are huge too. Now people are performing this procedure on babies and girls as young as two as they are less likely to put up a fight. They cut away the labia and any genitalia that are on the outside of the body (including the clitoris) leaving only a small hole for urination and menstruation. As girls up to fourteen years old are held down often without pain relief they suffer post-traumatic stress syndrome, along with nightmares, anxiety and fear.

Any female, mother or father of a girl, or any aunt, uncle or brother will be disgusted by this and hopefully horrified enough to act. To date there are 140 million – that’s MILLION girls alive that are hiding this abominable abuse every day in the UK. They are too scared to speak out because of the embarrassment and the worry of their parents getting into trouble however we need to spread the word that this is not acceptable and will not be tolerated as normal treatment of a child in the UK.

To help, please simply share this story to raise awareness or ring Child line if you suspect you know someone who may be a victim.

Anastasia Filipenko

Anastasia Filipenko is a health and wellness psychologist, dermatolist and a freelance writer. She frequently covers beauty and skincare, food trends and nutrition, health and fitness and relationships. When she's not trying out new skincare products, you'll find her taking a cycling class, doing yoga, reading in the park, or trying a new recipe.

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