Temporary female genital mutilation protection orders have been granted to safeguard two girls from Rotherham from becoming victims of the illegal practise.
The interim FGM orders were granted by Sheffield Family Court last month, following an application by South Yorkshire Police and their Legal Services team.
They give specific stipulations to those subject to the order about their behaviour and conduct, intended to protect the welfare of the girls.
Failure to comply with the court order is a criminal offence, and can result in a maximum prison sentence of five years.
Force lead for Honour Based Abuse, Forced Marriage and FGM, Detective Inspector Suzanne Jackson said: “FGM protection orders are a powerful and preventative means of protecting females from FGM.
“It is a serious and violent crime, which we want to prevent happening, to safeguard victims from a lifetime of physical and psychological damage.
“Harmful cultural practices are sadly still continuing in countries where this is seen as normal.
“Parents are often faced with family and community pressure and isolation if they don’t comply with FGM and mothers themselves have been victims as children. Our aim is to intervene and ensure that this cycle of abuse does not continue.
“Partner agencies will report to us where they identify a potential risk of harm and it is important that they continue to do this. That way, we can work together to ensure children are safeguarded, parents are educated and sanctions are in place should the orders be disregarded.”
Under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, it is illegal for the practise to be performed in the UK.
It is also an offence for a UK national, or a UK resident to carry out FGM outside of the UK, or help and enable someone to carry out FGM.
This even applies when the victim is taken to a country where the practise is legal and, if convicted, the perpetrator can face up to 14 years in prison.
To report concerns about FGM in South Yorkshire call police on 101.
Or, for further information, advice and support, call the NSPCC FGM Helpline on 0880 028 3550 or email email@example.com
Alternatively, contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk, or visit the Daughters of Eve website: www.dofeve.org
You can also contact Karma Nirvana, a national charity that specialises in help and support for victims of honour based abuse and forced marriage, on 0800 5999 247 or Ashiana can also be contacted on 0114 255 5740.