Figures from NHS Digital show a decrease in new FGM cases being referred to the NHS since the pandemic began. Two survivors have bravely spoken out to Sky News about their experience.
Read an except from Sky News below, and check out the full article here.
Salimata: ‘I thought I was going to a picnic but then I heard screaming’
Salimata Badji Knight, who lives in the UK, has helped save about 50 girls from FGM after her experience made her want to speak out.
She had FGM performed on her when she was four-and-a-half years old after being told she was going for a picnic with her grandmother in western Senegal while on holiday there from Paris.
“I was very excited for the picnic and before I knew it one of the young girls I was with, from my age to 15, was taken away and all I could hear was screaming,” she said.
“We knew it wasn’t a happy scream and we didn’t know what was happening.
“I was one of the last ones and when it was my turn, I was pinned down on the floor, I was kicking and biting and before I knew between my legs hurt a lot.
“I didn’t understand at that age and nobody spoke openly about your anatomy.
“We were all crying, I could see the adults did not look happy afterwards but there was a celebration of us going into womanhood, although I was only four.
“It was confusing because it hurt but then you were more accepted in the community.”