Recently new legislation enabling parents to be punished if daughters are cut, which includes a package of action and funding to protect millions of girls at home and abroad from female genital mutilation and forced marriage, has been announced by the Prime Minister, International Development Secretary Justine Greening and Home Secretary Theresa May at the Girl Summit 2014.
What does this mean for family law? Here at McCorry Connolly solicitors we can help you navigate the new legislation and offer sound advice on this area of family law should you need it.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a crime in this country. It is also a crime to take a British national or permanent resident abroad for FGM or to help someone trying to do this.
You could be sentenced to 14 years in prison for mutilating a woman or child in this way or for helping someone to do it which has ramifications for family law.
FGM is any procedure that is meant to change or injure a girl’s or woman’s genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is sometimes called ‘female circumcision’ or ‘female genital cutting’. It’s mostly carried out on young girls.
FGM procedures can cause:
- Severe bleeding
- Problems with giving birth later in life – including the death of the baby.
The announced steps to stop these practices include:
- a £1.4 million FGM Prevention Programme, launched in partnership with NHS England to help care for survivors and safeguard those at risk
- a mandatory duty on doctors, teachers and others to report instances of FGM
- new police guidance from the College of Policing and an inspection programme by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) that will look at how the police handle cases of FGM
- a consultation on proposals to introduce new civil orders designed to protect girls identified as being at risk of FGM
- new legislation that will mean parents can be prosecuted if they fail to prevent their daughter being cut
- new legislation to grant victims of FGM lifelong anonymity from the time an allegation is made
- a new specialist FGM service which will include social services, to proactively identify and respond to FGM; this will be supported by an ongoing package of work led by the Chief Social Worker Isabelle Trowler
- new programmes to prevent child and forced marriage in 12 developing countries
- an international charter calling for the eradication of these practices within a generation.
We specialise in all aspects of family law. Don’t hesitate to contact us today with any of your family legal challenges.