Doctors recorded one new victim of female genital mutilation in 2018
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One new victim of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Devon was seen by NHS services last year.
UK figures have been released showing the ongoing scale of the challenge to fight FGM across the country.
Thousands of new cases were recorded in UK and the first person to be convicted of the ‘barbaric’ act was jailed.
NHS Digital figures show that one victim of FGM – where female genitals are cut, injured or changed for no medical reason. Across England, there were more than 8,500 appointments for women and girls with FGM, with nearly 4,000 having their injuries recorded for the first time.
While concentrated on larger cities across England, the new figures show that cases are also found in the country’s smaller towns and rural regions.
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John Cameron, head of the NSPCC’s Childline, said: “Some cultures consider FGM a necessary part of bringing up a young girl. There may even be pressures for families to conform.
“The truth is it is a horrific form of child abuse and a criminal offence which has no place in today’s society.
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“If we want to protect girls from this dangerous and potentially life-changing practice we need to talk about FGM, encourage people to seek help and advice and report any concerns if they believe a child has been cut or is about to be.”
FGM is most commonly carried out within communities from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and young girls are often flown abroad for ceremonies where FGM is performed.