Milton Keynes Council, Thames Valley Police, the Police and crime commissioner, Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group and other partners have been working together with local communities to try and counter the practice of female genital mutilation.
In January, a six-month community led pilot project named ‘Be Bold’ began, engaging in targeted work with local communities to try and promote zero tolerance to FGM.
Key outcomes of the project included establishing a local network of community parent and youth champions and a peer led support group to support change within communities, by communities, and gaining a closer understanding of the health needs of those affected by female genital mutilation.
Councillor Zoe Nolan, Milton Keynes Council’s cabinet member for children and families, said: “This practice leaves young women – many of them children – disfigured for life, permanently scarred emotionally as well as physically.
“This practice is largely driven by fear of being ostracised, and a key to this is helping to enable people – working within their own communities – to say to their friends and relatives ‘this isn’t right’.”