A video has been released by South Yorkshire Police to try to bring an end to the ‘cruel and dangerous’ practise of female genital mutilation.
The video has been produced as part of the United Nations Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
The removal of all or part of the external genitalia of girls and women for non-medical reasons is carried out for cultural beliefs.
Police chiefs claim that although FGM is mainly carried out abroad it is under reported and does happen in South Yorkshire.
Detective Sergeant Suzanne Bluck, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “FGM is an incredibly taboo subject that needs to be talked about.
“The only way we can bring an end to this cruel and very dangerous practise is by raising awareness and I would ask people to help share our film as positive way of supporting the international day of action.
“While we believe the majority of female genital mutilation cases take place outside this country, this is an under-reported crime and we know it happens here in the UK and in South Yorkshire.
“During the last two years police in Sheffield have intervened in protecting four young girls from being taken abroad, and who were believed to be at risk of female genital mutilation. The girls’ families came from east and west Africa, however, we know this happens in communities across the world.”
It is estimated that 65,000 girls in the UK are currently at risk of FGM.
DS Bluck added: “With most cases of FGM being carried out on girls aged between infancy and 15 years of age, FGM is a form of child abuse.
“To ensure that we can protect those at risk of this type of abuse we provide officers with specialist training to help them spot the signs so young girls can be protected and safeguarded.
“FGM is a very serious crime that physically and psychology affects all of its victims and at its worst can lead to death. As a consequence, the prison sentence for those carrying out this type of abuse, or organising for someone to be taken abroad, can face up to 14 years in prison.
“This is a very difficult issue for many people to think about, let alone talk about, but as a society we must act to protect our young women and girls from this violation of their human rights.”