Survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM) must be able to tell their stories if healthcare professionals hope to increase their understanding of the issue, according to the Royal College of Midwives (RCM).
A series of short animations, developed by the RCM and partners, will be formally launched in Parliament on 12 September to send ‘emotive and targeted messages’ in the hope of breaking through misunderstandings and inaccurate information surrounding FGM.
READ MORE: Midwives dismay as 'still too many' FGM cases appear in past year
In the run-up to the launch, the RCM is running a two-week social media campaign which will contain illustrations and messages centred on FGM understanding.
‘We are incredibly proud of these animated films and all the collaborative work that has been done to date with survivors and partner organisations to make these FGM animations a reality,’ said RCM professional policy advisor Janet Fyle.
‘The purpose of these animations is to create awareness of the consequences of FGM through the words of survivors and by doing so we hope to empower girls, women and men to stand up against FGM and seek protection for themselves, their family and friends.
READ MORE: Healthcare professionals encounter FGM cases 'every hour'
‘The scripts for each short animation were derived from the survivors themselves, who spoke emotively of the impact FGM has had on their current physical and psychological health as well as relationships.’
A report from NHS Digital in July showed there were more than 5,000 new case of FGM recorded in England over the past year, with a third of the total victims being women and girls born in Somalia, while 112 were UK-born. Nearly half of all cases involved women and girls living in London.
It was revealed that 123 NHS trusts and 74 GP practices submitted one or more FGM attendance record in the period of the report.
READ MORE: Girls are still 'at risk of FGM' says leading midwife
During the second week of their campaign, the RCM will share exclusive clips from the animation series ahead of their official release.
Each short film will conclude with a call to the government to act to end FGM and the films will be available to view and share on YouTube and other websites from 12 September.