Multicultural Birmingham has highest FGM rate in UK

Last year, the National Health Service (NHS) recorded 305 cases of mutilation in Birmingham and Solihull

Friday 02 August - A region of the multicultural Midlands city of Birmingham has seen the highest rate of newly-reported cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK.

In total, including those already known to the NHS, 385 women and girls were seen by health authorities in the region in 2018/2019. For the vast majority (305) of those victims, it was not known when the procedure was undertaken — a proportion reflective of the nationwide figures published this month.

In terms of historic cutting committed when the victims were children, authorities were able to ascertain that 15 of the cases involved women and girls being less than one year old at the time of the abuse; 15 were aged between one and four years old; 45 were was aged five to nine; and around ten were aged 10 to 14.

The report of the regional figures comes after the NHS released nationwide statistics which revealed that between April 2018 and March 2019, 6,415 women and girls — an increase from 6,260 from the same period the year before — have been identified as victims of FGM.

Of those, 4,120 were new cases, meaning the victims appeared in the dataset for the first time, adding to the tens of thousands of women and girls living in the UK believed to have had their genitals mutilated.

Like the regional figures for Birmingham, the nation-wide statistics revealed that it could not be identified in a large proportion (3,895 of the 6,415) of the victims when the mutilation had occurred.

The highest proportion of those where the age at which the abuse took place was known were children under the age of five (1,065), followed by girls aged five to 10, where 805 victims were identified.

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