This week, the first specialist female genital mutilation (FGM) clinic will be launched in Wales called the Women’s Wellbeing Clinic.
The service will be led by specialist FGM midwives working in collaboration with a consultant obstetric team, designated child health consultant paediatricians and a third sector agency group.
‘This is a major step in the campaign to stop FGM in Wales and indeed across the UK, a campaign that the RCM has been at the forefront of,’ said Helen Rogers, director for Wales in the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
‘It is so important the women and girls who have been subjected to FGM, or fear they are at risk of FGM, have somewhere to go to where they can get the care, treatment and support they need.’
There are an estimated 137,000 women and girls in England and Wales affected by FGM and since July 2015, 79 FGM protection orders have been made.
Anyone who has been affected by FGM or is seeking advice on FGM can self-refer to the clinic or be referred by a health professional, the police or social services.
The aim of the service it to ensure that all women who have been affected by FGM, both the physical and psychological trauma, can have access to culturally sensitive care with an individualised approach.
At the clinic, women can access psycho-sexual counselling, interpretation services and community advocacy support as well as address wider women’s health needs such as cervical screenings, breast screenings and contraceptive advice.
The Criminal Prosecution Service (CPS) in Wales as worked with several agencies to aid in the development of the clinic.
‘It is satisfying to see all that work come to fruition with the opening of the first clinic of its kind in Wales,’ said Kim Ann Williamson, of the CPS Cymru-Wales.
‘We will continue co-operating with our partner agencies to support the valuable work being undertaken to address FGM in Wales.’ You can apply for a protection order if you or someone you think is at risk of FGM or someone can apply on your behalf, such as local authorities. For more information on protect orders, visit: https://www.gov.uk/female-genital-mutilation-protection-order