Telegraph View: Hidden horror in our own city

Nancy Fielder
Nancy Fielder

Sheffield has many issues which it needs to tackle.

Today the Telegraph is highlighting one that most of us don’t realise is even a problem in our own city.

Female genital mutilation is not something I associate with Sheffield so I’m sure I’m not alone in being horrified that girls as young as three are being made victims of the awful act

Female genital mutilation is not something I associate with Sheffield so I’m sure I’m not alone in being absolutely horrified that girls as young as three are being made victims of the awful act.

They are Sheffielders in every sense of the word but live in communities within our city where FGM is accepted by many. The fact police are highlighting this problem to a wider audience within the city is welcome.

We can’t watch out for signs or do anything to help when we aren’t aware of the issue. I wish it wasn’t an issue at all here, but since it is we must shine a spotlight on it, ensure girls feel able to ask for help before they become victims and make it unacceptable in every single home.

It won’t go away magically. Everyone of us needs to not only make it clear that we disagree but also play our role in ending it.

So many of us come into contact with children through our jobs or our friendship groups and just taking time to listen is the first step. Once you’ve read our special reports over the page, it is also worth stepping back from the obvious instant reaction which must be anger.

We may recoil in horror at the very fact Sheffield has its own victims of FGM, but let’s also take time to appreciate the many institutions who are fighting it.

There are amazing support networks who battle these issues every day and Sheffielders who devote themselves to helping these girls - from health and education professionals to police.

One of the things that makes us love this city so much is its diversity. We welcome with open arms so many aspects of other cultures and boast a heady mix of international wonderfulness. But FGM must never be acceptable in any corner of Sheffield.