Derbyshire’s Deputy PCC Hardyal Dhindsa has backed a petition to raise awareness of a form of child abuse affecting thousands of young girls in the UK and is calling for others to join him.
Student Fahma Mohamed, who is just 17 years old, has launched a campaign, including a petition, to improve education around Female Genital Mutilation before the so called school holiday ‘cutting season’ commences in July. An estimated 24,000 young girls in the UK are thought to be at risk.
FGM campaigners and head teachers believe that the quickest way to get the message across is for Education Secretary Michael Gove to empower head teachers across the UK to take whatever actions they think necessary to end this practice.
Concurring, the Deputy Commissioner said: “This is abuse, potentially lethal abuse at that, and it is one of those crimes that it is not often talked about. While that is understandable, it is a dangerous position. We need to educate society alongside those most at risk, and education is the way to do this.”
Urging people to follow Fahma’s example and ‘do something’ Mr Dhindsa said: “Something simple such as signing this young girl’s petition could make a real difference. If between us we can raise awareness of the practice so that people recognise the indicators of those at risk, we will make progress in our bid to see such behaviour stop.
“No young girl should have to go through this shocking experience and by signing the petition we are calling on the Government to join us in our support of those at risk. I hope that Michael Gove listens.”
Although FGM was criminalised 28 years ago, there have yet to be any prosecutions in the UK. It is hoped that this will soon change with the first prosecution in Britain for this offence expected to come to court within weeks.
Fahma’s petition to Education Secretary Michael Gove
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Posted on Tuesday 25th February 2014