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Female genital mutilation (FGM) is one of the most severe forms of child abuse.

It refers to a range of procedures which involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. Practicing the procedure in the UK, or taking girls out of the country to have it done, is illegal and carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.

The procedure is usually performed at any time between birth up to the age of 15, there are no health benefits but some believe it helps prepare girls for marriage. 

It is practiced in numerous communities across the world and is also happening among communities in the UK. Women and girls subjected to it can suffer both health consequences and mental health problems.

Durham Constabulary work jointly with our partners in social care services, health and education to fully support and protect victims and witnesses to ensure any offences identified are fully investigated. 

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Who should I contact if I have concerns?

If you have been affected by this or you know someone who is at risk, please report it by calling 101.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at

No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

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Further help and advice

Phone: 0808 800 5000

Phone: 01642 683045

Karma Nirvana
Phone: 0800 5999 247
(Operates between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday - outside of these hours please call police on 101)



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