Genital Mutilation On Rise In London, Women's Group Warns Teachers
Imkaan, the ethnic minority women's organisation, has issued a plea for all school teachers to be trained to help girls facing violence after research revealed an increase in female genital mutilation in London.
The report shows an increase in the practice of 65% in the past 10 years and found 3,500 baby girls are born annually to mothers who have suffered the horrific mutilation. Imkaan is now calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to help tackle the issue.
Director of the organisation Marai Larasi said it "was not acceptable" that in 2011 many girls in women living in Britain still face "extreme, violent threats to their safety and even to their lives".
"These issues are neglected because of fears of being labelled at best, culturally insensitive and at worst, racist."
The report detailed those most at risk were girls from African families as well as those from Afghan, Turkish, South Asian, Kurdish, Arab and Irish traveller backgrounds. It stressed education for health professionals is needed to tackle a "dangerous postcode lottery of support services" for females, should they try to find help.
"There would be outrage and a national scandal if this were happening to little white girls", Larasi continued.
"Every girl should be protected, no matter her background."
The report also noted hundreds of women are at risk of falling victim to forced marriages every year. The Forced Marriage Unit dealt with 330 cases of females at risk in London alone last year, the Evening Standard reported.