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Midwives welcome Midwives welcome the Director for Public Prosecutions’ Action Plan on Tackling FGM

For immediate release, Friday 23rd November  2012

Commenting on the launch today (November 23rd) of the Director for Public Prosecutions’ Action Plan on tackling Female Genital Mutilation, the Director for Midwifery for the Royal College of Midwives Louise Silverton said: “We warmly welcome the launch of the ground-breaking action plan and applaud the Crown Prosecution Service for taking such proactive steps and its focus on gathering more robust data regarding allegations of FGM, so that the scale of the problem can be assessed.

“It concerns me that so many UK midwives are seeing cases of FGM and we need to have good mechanisms in place for midwives to report and take appropriate actions about FGM. The RCM takes a zero tolerance stance on FGM and will continue to work to see this practice stopped in the UK. We look forward to continuing to work with the Director for Public Prosecutions about  the action plan.”

For more information contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456, pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.

For more information about the DPP’s Action Plan on Tackling FGM, please call Tim McAtackney on 0203 357 0916.


Notes to editors

The Royal College of Midwives is the voice of midwifery. We are the UK’s only trade union and professional organisation led by midwives for midwives. The vast majority of the midwifery profession are our members. The RCM promotes midwifery, quality maternity services and professional standards. We support and represent our members individually and collectively in all four UK countries.  We influence on behalf of our members and for the interests of the women and families for which they care.  For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.

In February 2012, the RCM released a survey that showed that a third of midwives in the UK have cared for women who have suffered female genital mutilation (FGM). It is estimated that 66,000 women in the UK are affected by Female Genital Mutilation and that up to 24,000 girls in the UK are at risk from FGM.

Conducted late last year, the survey of over 1700 midwives also showed that almost a quarter (24%) of hospital Trusts do not collect information abut FGM cases. The survey also suggested that over a fifth (22.2%) of Trusts do not have clinical guidelines for maternity staff looking after women who have undergone FGM.

The survey shows that there is a pressing need for more training and awareness-raising with midwives about FGM. It also revealed a major issue about referral processes for women who have FGM with over half (55.3%) of those surveyed saying that they did not know where to refer women with FGM for specialist services. A large majority (84.7%) of respondents had also not received any training on FGM in the previous year.  However, over two-thirds (70%) of midwives are aware of the UK law around FGM.

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