What is Female Genital Mutilation or FGM?

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is regarded a human rights violation and a form of gender-based abuse. In England and Wales there is FGM specific legislation which is utilised to prevent FGM from taking place or to protect a child who may have already been subjected to FGM.

FGM is regarded a customary practice by some cultures and faiths and as a result most procedures are not conducted in surgically safe environments, which usually means that the risk of physical harm to the girls undergoing the knife is further heightened.

The World Health Organisation defines FGM as ‘all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.’

FGM is classified into 4 major types:

Type 1: Often referred to as clitoridectomy

This is the partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals), and in very rare cases, only the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris).

Type 2: Often referred to as excision

This is the partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora (the inner folds of the vulva), with or without excision of the labia majora (the outer folds of skin of the vulva).

Type 3: Often referred to as infibulation

This is the narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the labia minora, or labia majora, sometimes through stitching, with or without removal of the clitoris (clitoridectomy).

Type 4:

This includes all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterising the genital area.

Our approach

Goodman Ray has a team of experts who are experienced in representing and protecting women and girls who at risk or have been subjected to FGM. We also have specialist legal expertise on cases with an international component. We provide training on FGM, forced marriage and honour-based violence to domestic and global agencies.

Contacting us

Please get in touch using whatever method is easiest for you. You can use the form on our website or email us at mail@goodmanray.com. Alternatively, feel free to ring us on 020 7608 1227.

Who We Are

Our FGM Team