The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has launched an e-network for specialist midwives and other professionals working on the frontline to tackle Female genital mutilation (FGM) and support survivors of FGM.

The RCM initiative was funded by the Department of Health and NHS England and is aimed at specialist FGM midwives, nurses, doctors, health visitors and relevant health and social care professionals.

The e-network will create a virtual forum of support where relevant resources can be accessed and shared, including links to appropriate data on FGM.

Janet Fyle Professional Policy Advisor at the RCM said: “No local authority area in England and Wales is untouched by FGM.  Many girls and women here in the UK continue to be at risk of FGM. It is vital we continue to raise public awareness of the negative impact on the individuals’ life, the illegality of this practice and the consequences of carrying out FGM on a girl or woman.   

“It’s important that the safeguarding systems currently in place for protecting girls from FGM are understood by all those who work or interact with women and children particularly those in health, social care and education.  We must also support key professionals and activists who work together to tackle FGM and the issues that surround it.

“Jointly we have worked to develop this much-needed e-network for health professionals working on FGM issues or with survivors of FGM. There are also many other additional and related issues that professionals need to be aware of and professional development in this area is key to identifying and tackling FGM here in the UK."

The e-network will also act as a confidential platform for discussion of issues or specific problems encountered by professionals and will enable information sharing and best practice in a safe space. Community advocates will also be able to access relevant information and interact with others and relevant professionals as appropriate via the network.