Northumbria Police PCC writes blog to help tackle Female Genital Mutilation

vera baird
Picture: Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird has written a guest blog for a website aimed at tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

28 Too Many is a values based charity working to end FGM.

The primary focus is on research and enabling initiatives in the North East to end FGM in the 28 African countries where it is practised.

The charity also networks and advocates for the global eradication of FGM, working closely with other charities and organisations in the violence against women sector.

Tackling any form of violence against women and girls, and giving victims support and the confidence to come forward, are major priorities for Commissioner Baird.

Working with her fellow PCCs at Durham and Cleveland, Vera Baird introduced the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy part of which focuses specifically on FGM and raising awareness of the illegality of this practice across all our communities.

Commissioner Baird said: “FGM doesn’t only happen in countries away from the UK, it can also happen on our doorsteps and I’m determined that victims have the confidence to seek help and that those who practise it are dealt with.

“FGM is a barbaric practice leaving women and girls physically, emotionally and psychologically scarred with these consequences likely to continue throughout a victim’s life.

“It is not a religious practice and the leaders of all major religions have condemned the practice as unnecessary and harmful.

“The theme of my guest blog is to encourage victims to not suffer in silence and come forward to seek help.

“I understand this is a huge step and incredibly difficult, particularly when a victim may have been told the procedure has been performed on her for her own benefit.

“I also understand the significant cultural pressures on a victim which will stop them from speaking out.  

“My role as Police and Crime Commissioner, together with the role of the police, is essential in ensuring victims receive the correct support and those people who commit this crime are dealt with appropriately.

“With this in mind, I have used this blog opportunity to reach out to victims and say to them please, reach out and get the help, support and information which is out there not only from police, but other agencies.”

28 Too Many executive director, Dr Ann-Marie Wilson, added: “We are pleased to share this blog from Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird QC.

“Commissioner Baird is a distinguished campaigner for women’s rights and prioritising tacking violence against women.

“We support the work she is doing with Northumbria Police to tackle FGM and to ensure that those affected by this horrific crime are given the help and support they need.”

To read Commissioner’s Baird’s blog visit the website and click on the guest blog on the right of the screen.

If you suspect someone is, or could be, subjected to FGM, contact police on 101.

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