In the week of UN International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Jo Swinson, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has today published new statistics which show health boards recording treating women who have experienced FGM, with the numbers concentrated in Scotland’s biggest cities.
Responses to Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests reveal that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde recorded treating women identified with FGM on at least 138 occasions in the past two years. NHS Lothian identified 93 occasions.
The other twelve territorial health boards reported extremely low numbers or no cases of FGM had been identified.
Last week saw the first conviction for female genital mutilation in the UK.
Jo Swinson said:
“These figures show that NHS professionals across Scotland are recording treating women who have experienced FGM. It is a barbaric and traumatic practice that must be completely eradicated. Nobody should be in any doubt that it is child abuse and it is against the law.
“The Scottish and UK Governments, police and other services must work closely to protect women and girls from FGM. They must also ensure that there are sufficient resources for training and support services to help women and girls who are victims of FGM to deal with the physical and psychological consequences.
“We waited a long time to see the first conviction in the UK for female genital mutilation. It should pave the way for further concerted action.”