Tackling FGM in Yorkshire
Hi, I'm Anj Handa and I'm on a mission to tackle Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). I need your help! Will you enable me to produce a practical guide for practitioners in my region? By doing so, you could help people such as teachers, prison officers and
Some of you may know of my high-profile legal and media campaign in 2014 based on two girls seeking asylum on the grounds of risk of FGM. The girls remain my motivation to continue campaigning.
I have learned so much from working alongside legal and medical practitioners, and from being invited into the homes of survivors. I want to share the knowledge and perspectives that hearing these diverse voices gave me more widely.
Each time I've delivered awareness sessions for schools and prisons, workers have been so appreciative - either they hadn't previously found a workshop, or had no time to attend.
At a time of deep cuts to public services, I feel a free online guide such as this would spread awareness and information to a wider audience.
In the UK, a case of FGM is discovered or treated every hour
According to global evidence, the majority of girls tend to be cut around the age of five and up to age 17. FGM is child abuse. But it doesn't happen in Yorkshire, right? Wrong.
In a 2014 report co-authored with Dr Jean Garrod, we put the Leeds figure at around 2667 girls and women impacted by FGM; and in my recent Open Letter to Local Authority CEOs in my region, I highlighted the latest NHS Digital data of 500 newly recorded cases in Yorkshire in 16/17.
FGM is child abuse, so why isn't more being done?
Although shocking, these are simply recorded cases. The real figure will be far greater. Some of our most vulnerable members of society are at risk and they are being failed. Here's why.
When we set these numbers against a backdrop of cuts in healthcare, education, safeguarding, social and emergency services and patchy awareness of the subject, it's clear to see that we have a challenge.
While cultural sensitivity should be considered when working with communities, it is no reason for inaction.
I want to give practitioners - teachers, police and prison officers, health workers - the understanding and confidence to be able to intervene swiftly and effectively.
In my region, there's been a lack of leadership on FGM. I am willing to step up, but I need your support in funding this important piece of work.
I'm proposing a 40-page (approx) practical guide on:
- Key facts about FGM
- Regional data set in a UK context
- Information on at-risk groups e.g. Asylum seekers & refugees
- Spotting the signs - emotional and physical
- Cultural considerations and pressures
- Mandatory reporting - process and flaws
- UK models of best practice
- Case studies
I aim to release the guide in 2018.
To produce a guide of this nature is time and resource intensive. Many hours of research will be involved.
As a self-employed individual, to undertake this work on top of running my business means that time is a factor and needs to be funded.
That's why I need your support in creating something a guide that is practical and easy to read.
Your contribution, no matter how small, counts
- £10 would fund a printed copy
- Reaching £500 could fund a 2.5-hour training workshop for up to 30 practitioners
- Reaching the target would mean that I could fund additional research capacity and consider creative ways of presenting data
- Additional contributions above the target could be used to fund additional activity such as seed funds for local voluntary and community sector groups or research where further gaps have been identified
Thank you for reading and please remember, any sum you are able to contribute will help, no matter how small.
Even if you're not able to contribute at this time, you can help by sharing this campaign across your social media. Thanks again!
We won't be able to publish a guide in the way we would like until the target is reached, but I wanted to check in with you to thank you once again for your contribution which has enabled some activity to take place in the meantime.