Making a stand against female mutilation outrage with set of events
A SERIES of events are taking place in Bristol this summer to help raise awareness about the illegal practice of female genital mutilation (FGM).
Supported by the Bristol Safeguarding Children's Board, agencies have been working together over the last two years to highlight the issue among schools, midwives, police officers social workers and health professionals.
Now communities in Bristol are taking forward their own work to take a stand against FGM before the school summer holidays.
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a cultural practice carried out in more than 28 African countries, particularly Somalia, Egypt and Sudan, plus some in Asia and South America, where part or all of the genitalia is removed from girls.
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On Saturday, June 25, from 1pm – 6pm there will be a community family day and picnic at Easton Community Centre including workshops, activities for children, traditional songs and dance.
On Thursday, June 30, at 4pm there will be a premier film screening of Silent Scream at The Watershed. The film was produced over the last five months by a group of 27 young women, through a project run by Integrate Bristol and Zed Productions, with the support of City Academy Bristol.
The film is a short drama documentary and includes interviews with Detective Chief Inspector Dave MacCallum, Dr Comfort Momoh and Sheikh Abdalla Yassin.
On Saturday, July 9, at 1pm there will be a Bristol screening of The Cutting Tradition, a film part-funded by the International Federation of Gynaeocology and Obstetrics which examines the cultural background to FGM across the world. It will be followed by a discussion with the film-maker and a nurse.
Chairman of the Bristol Safeguarding Children Board, Dr Ray Jones, said: "Genital mutilation is an issue that we need to continue to highlight. It is estimated that around 2,000 girls in Bristol are potentially at risk of either being subject to it here or abroad. This is why it is important that extra focus is raised just before the long summer holidays.
"It's great to see that this is now being taken forward at a grassroots level."
FGM carries the risk of death from bleeding or tetanus, and long-term problems including urinary incontinence, recurrent infections and chronic pain. Reversal procedures are necessary for childbirth.
Anyone with information about people who might be carrying out or arranging this practice can call Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 with anonymity assured.