Knowing who has been mutilated or is at risk is often difficult. This is difficult because:
• it happens only once
• parents may believe FGM is a good thing to do for their daughters
• the genitalia of girls are rarely examined
• it is not culturally acceptable for girls to talk openly about FGM.
But remember there is a risk if:
• the girl’s mother or her older sisters have been cut
• the mother has limited contact with people outside of her family
• the paternal grandmother is very influential within the family
• the mother has poor access to information about FGM
• no one talks to the mother about FGM
• health, social service and education staff fail to respond appropriately
• communities are given the impression that FGM is not taken seriously by the statutory sector.
Step up and say No to FGM. It has nothing to do with culture or religion. Spread the message and say no to an unnecessary, horrific procedure that has no value to a woman’s body.