Recognising abuse

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Helpline

This helpline has been setup and is operated by the NSPCC. It is supported by the Metropolitan Police as part of its crime prevention work and has provided training to the NSPCC. It is also in association with a number of voluntary and professional groups, including FGM charities.

FGM is a form of child abuse Female genital mutilation is a form of child abuse common to some African, Asian and Middle Eastern communities in the UK.

This illegal and life-threatening initiation ritual can leave young victims in agony and with physical and psychological problems that can continue into adulthood.

Carried out in secret and often without anaesthetic it involves the partial or total removal of the external female genital organs. Victims are usually aged between four and ten, but some are babies.

Contact the Free dedicated helpline for advice and support Our helpline will give advice, information and support for anyone concerned that a child’s welfare is at risk because of female genital mutilation.

Though callers’ details can remain anonymous, any information that could protect a child from abuse will be passed to the police or social services.

If you are worried that a child may be at risk of FGM, you can contact the Free 24 hour helpline anonymously on

0800 028 3550 or email

Over 1,700 victims were referred to specialist clinics in the last two years. However, we believe the true number of victims is even higher as only a tiny fraction come forward for medical help. Those who do are usually adults with maternity problems.