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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Services in Oxfordshire support families affected by FGM/C

22/08/2017
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A confidential service is available at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to support women and girls who have undergone female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C).

The Oxford Rose Clinic runs every two weeks. on a Friday. The clinic team, led by Dr Brenda Kelly, Consultant Obstetrician and Clinical Lead for women with FGM in Oxfordshire, is staffed by female doctors with experience in women's health, chronic pain, psychosexual therapy and psychological medicine. Women can refer themselves or be referred by health professionals in the community.

Referrals can be made by email: oxfordrose.clinic@nhs.net or telephone or text: 07767 671 406.

FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1985, but data published by NHS Digital show that there were 9,179 attendances for FGM reported by NHS trusts and GP practices in the country between April 2016 and March 2017.

The data also revealed 5,391 newly-recorded cases, and that FGM is being carried out on girls under the age of 18 in the UK.  In 57 cases, the FGM was known to have been undertaken in the UK.

Many girls at risk of FGM may be taken abroad to undergo the practice during the six week summer break from school. Taking girls overseas to be cut has been illegal in the UK since 2003.

The figures that have been collected are likely to reflect only the tip of the iceberg, as many survivors do not access services or share information about their FGM. Many more girls and women in this country could be living with the after-effects of FGM, the consequences of which, including physical and psychological symptoms, can affect them for their whole lives.

In 2015 Oxford Against Cutting (OAC) set up the Rose Community, a network of survivors of FGM and people who care. Rose Community events give families affected by FGM the opportunity to build new friendships and networks for mutual support. The specialist NHS service followed.

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