To Top

First Clinic for FGM Survivors Opened in Wales

The first clinic to treat both the psychological and physical effects of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has opened in Wales. The Cardiff-based service is called the Women’s Wellbeing Clinic, and it is run by midwives. The clinic offers individualized psycho-sexual counseling, interpretation services, and community advocacy support for survivors.

According to the charity Welsh Women’s Aid, Welsh data regarding FGM is difficult to come by. It is estimated that around 2,000 women in the country are survivors of FGM, while 144,000 women in England and Wales are at risk of FGM. The Women’s Wellbeing Clinic will be open to these survivors and may be the first time they’ve had access to specialized support after enduring the illegal practice.

FGM, sometimes called “cutting,” is classified by the World Health Organization as “all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.”

FGM has no medical benefits and has a series of risks for womenincluding the buildup of scar tissue and even loss of their life or their child’s life during pregnancy or birth.

In recent years, the practice has gained attention in Wales. In 2017, the Welsh Education Secretary, Kristy Williams, sent a letter out to schools regarding the unacceptability of FGM and the damage it causes. She particularly addressed schools and education hubs, stating that the awareness of the problem can truly make a difference.

Williams went on to say, “It is imperative we all recognize the warning signs of a child who might be at risk. Female Genital Mutilation is child abuse and a criminal offence. It cannot be justified as a cultural or religious practice and leaders of all main faiths have rightly spoken out against it.” 

This clinic is a step in the right direction for better support of FGM survivors in Wales. Bawso, a Welsh charity organization who supported the creation of the Women’s Wellbeing Clinic, reported that they received 788 inquiries about FGM between 2014 and 2015.

Bawso‘s violence against women director Dr. Mwenya Chima reiterated the need for a specialized clinic in 2017, stating that she “worked with a survivor of FGM who wanted medical help as she was having problems. We tried to get her help from the clinic in Bristol, but there were delays because she was outside the area, so in the end it didn’t happen and she is still living with these problems now.”

Hopefully this new clinic will provide the necessary care for FGM survivors like this woman in Wales.

“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.”

Featured Image by rawpixel on Unsplash

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Be Informed

  • Black Mothers: The Risk of Giving Birth

    Serena Williams was not the first black woman to be ignored by her doctor post-partum. Black mothers consistently balance the joy...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 14, 2020
  • No More Bumps: 5 Steps to Smooth Skin

    Ladies, it’s hard to feel nice and smooth after shaving when ingrown hairs and bumps immediately take the spotlight. However, not...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 13, 2020
  • Healthy Social Media Use

    Social media presence has increased for decades, remaining incredibly prevalent in everyday life. Cultivate healthy habits by learning about the effects...

    Lydia SchapiroAugust 12, 2020
  • No Woman was Surprised by What Happened to AOC

    A few weeks ago, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was insulted by Representative Ted Yoho being called a “f—ing bitch” and “dangerous.” Afterwards,...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 12, 2020
  • The Meaning Behind #ChallengeAccepted

    Recently, a trend has surfaced on Instagram where women nominate one another privately to post a black and white picture of...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 11, 2020
  • Why Anti-feminism can be Fatal

    Recently, New Jersey Federal Judge Esther Salas and her family were attacked resulting in the loss of her son and injury...

    Kalyn WomackAugust 7, 2020
  • Elijah McClain: What to Know and What to Do

    Elijah McClain was a 23-year-old innocent black man killed by Colorado police. Recently, a peaceful protest and vigil in his honor...

    Kalyn WomackJuly 31, 2020
  • What does #FreeBritney Mean?

    Dedicated Britney Spears fans have been in fear of her safety during quarantine. They noticed her social media presence to be...

    Kalyn WomackJuly 23, 2020
  • How The Handmaid’s Tale Remains Relevant

    The Handmaid's Tale seems to reflect our world today. Is Atwood's novel entirely dystopian, or is she warning us?

    Lydia SchapiroJuly 23, 2020
  • 6 False Assumptions about Mental Illness

    There are various stigmas surrounding mental illness, and it is often difficult for affected individuals to feel appreciated. Learning about mental...

    Lydia SchapiroJuly 16, 2020