Committed to eradicating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Tony Hogg writes about the impact that FGM has on millions of women worldwide. He took part in the FGM conference at Exeter University
I was privileged to open the FGM conference in Exeter University today and speak alongside people who have worked so hard to raise awareness of FGM. Among them was Leyla Hussein, a victim and survivor of FGM, who was frank and open and brings better understanding and hope to so many victims.
I was shocked by the volume of victims of FGM. So many girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences.
FGM is an extreme form of discrimination against women; it is an extreme form of violence; it is child abuse; it violates human rights; it interferes with natural functions and harms healthy women; it is a hidden crime and there are multiple barriers to reporting which we must overturn. FGM is a safeguarding issue and it is everyone's responsibility. Legislation is not enough and we are required to demonstrate proactivity to eradicate this crime. We must also support victims to come forward and report.
My office has supported today's conference at projects relating to FGM. Through our new victims services, launched on 1 April, we will be finding yet another way to support victims of FGM.
In short, FGM must be stopped. We must, and will take the issue seriously. Today’s conference helped focus efforts towards this. both in the community and in policing. I am deeply committed to eradicating FGM in all its forms.