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4.7 Female Genital Mutilation

1.1 Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a collective term for procedures which include either the partial or total removal of the external genital organs for cultural or other non-therapeutic reasons.
1.2 FGM is more common than many people recognise both in the British Isles and many other countries, worldwide. It is not required by any major religion and is a harmful and dangerous practice that can cause long term physical as well as psychological trauma.
1.3 Female Genital Mutilation is illegal on the Isle of Man under The Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act 2010.

A referral may be prompted by:

  • Suspicion that a child or young person is about to have the procedure performed;
  • Suspicion that a child or young person is being, or may be, sent to another country for the purposes of performing the procedure;
  • The procedure is known to have happened;
  • Another girl or women in the family has been mutilated.
1.5 Where there is evidence of or suspicion that FGM has or may be performed, these child protection procedures should be invoked – see Referral to Social Services Procedure for more information.

The Strategy Discussion should include consideration of:

  • Whether the Police need to take action in their primary law enforcement role;
  • The potential risks to all girls in the family;
  • Whether legal action is required to safeguard the child or young person.
1.7 Social Services will need to work closely with the Police, who have a primary law enforcement role. The use of a Prohibited Steps Order may be appropriate.