FGM survivor trains Newham nurses about FGM
- Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson
A group of school nurses discovered the risks of female genital mutilation and the complications associated with the practice from a woman who survived the ordeal.
Campaigner Alimatu Dimonekene, who was cut at the age of 16 while living in Sierra Leone, led the training session in Canning Town held specifically for school nurses to make them aware of the practice which is now illegal here.
She has also held similar sessions with adult social workers in Newham to make them aware of the risks and complications associated with FGM.
Alimatu. a FGM Prevention and Support Caseworker for health organisation Manor Gardens, works as a trainer at Newham FGM services. She said: ”Newham has a huge prevalence of FGM and there are lots of women and girls living in Newham that have been affected by FGM.
“It goes with forced marriage, domestic and sexual violence and Newham Council has commissioned our services to help deal with that.
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“We provide training for professionals to raise their awareness for recording and reporting FGM so that women feel confident and also so that professionals are kept up to date because there have been changes in the way FGM is approached.
“A lot of communities in Newham are taking part in practices that they have done for many many years but they don’t know that they are now illegal or that they are child abuse.
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“It is about supporting women and girls who are affected by FGM, we don’t want to stigmatise the community.
“It is very important to train and support school nurses as their role is quite crucial in preventing and safeguarding girls at risk.”
It is estimated that 20,000 girls under 15 are at risk in the UK each year, and that 66,000 women in the UK are living with its consequences.
It is thought the girls are taken to their countries of origin so that FGM can be carried out in the summer holidays.