Dear friends across the UK,
Tens of thousands of young girls in the UK are at risk of female genital mutilation, but nobody has ever been prosecuted here for this horrendous crime. A shocking press expose has sparked outrage, so if we raise our voices now we can force the government to act.
Undercover Sunday Times reporters recently filmed a “respected dentist” and an “alternative medicine practitioner” offering to mutilate girls and women here in the UK. The practice has been illegal in the UK since 1985, but no one has ever been prosecuted for this crime and the dentist and alternative practitioner haven’t been questioned by police.Authorities are turning a blind eye and refusing to commit the resources needed to stamp out this horrific problem.
But the Times’s explosive report has put this issue on the agenda and together we can get Home Secretary, Theresa May, and Metropolitan Police head, Bernard Hogan-Howe, to start prosecuting people involved in these assaults on women in the UK. Let’s build a national outcry to demand investigations of the people identified in the Times report, and others involved in this abusive practice!
Female genital mutilation has been illegal in the UK since 1985; and in 2003 the law was tightened to stop girls being taken abroad for the operation. We know it still goes on, but it’s hard to work out just how often. A 2007 investigation funded by the Department of Health estimated that some 6,500 women and children were at risk every year. The Sunday Times put the number at 24,000, but admitted that its numbers are speculative.
The numbers may not be precise, but they are far too high. Let’s seize this chance to shame the authorities into action. Sign the petition to Theresa May and Bernard Hogan-Howe now:
Our amazing community has held power-holders to account in the UK and around the world — and now we need to come together again to save these vulnerable girls.
Alex, Alice, Paul, Michelle and the whole Avaaz team
PS: This petition was started by an Avaaz member, Ruth. You can start your own petition in 10 minutes here: http://www.avaaz.org/en/
Cruel cuts (Avaaz Daily Briefing):
Genital mutilation in the UK, an investigation (Sunday Times, paywall):
The Prevalence of Female Genital Mutilation in England and Wales (DoH study, 2007):