Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

NHS Bristol has working hard with local communities and professionals to raise awareness about the risks of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the fact it is illegal for both women and girls.

FGM is practiced in over 28 African countries, mainly the horn and central Africa. It is estimated that there could be as many as 140 million women worldwide who have undergone FGM. In Bristol, it is estimated that we have approximately 1,200 girls who come from communities where FGM has been practiced.

FGM is a secretive practice, because it is illegal in many countries including the UK. FGM is seen as a right of passage for girls from being a child to a woman. It is generally performed on girls aged 8-14, but can be done at any age. It is a cultural practice NOT religious and there are variations on the severity of practice. FGM is generally not performed with the use of anaesthetic or in sterile conditions. It is a grave human rights violation with serious health consequences.

A leaflet for health professionals can be found in related links, as well as other leaflets for members of the community in English, Somali and Arabic.

Information on the Bristol community program:


Link to the national FGM multi-agency practice guidelines:


Link to the South West Child Protection Procedures Female Genital Mutilation Guidelines:


Link to the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board (BSCB) female genital mutilation training courses:


For more information about safeguarding issues and female genital mutilation contact:

Jackie Mathers, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Children
Email: jackie.mathers@bristol.nhs.uk
Tel: 0117 900 2670