A horrifying investigation by The Sunday Times has revealed that as many as 100,000 women in Britain have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) with medical practitioners in the U.K., some of who have performed the extremely illegal procedure on girls as young as 10.
If this news hasn't already blinded you with rage, there's still this: despite information from the Metropolitan police that in 2008 166 people reported that they feared they were at risk of FGM, and with research suggesting that every year up to 22,000 girls across the country and up to 6,000 in London are at risk of FGM, no one across all of England and Wales' 43 police forces has ever been convicted of the crime. The procedure, which is widespread in parts of Africa, involves the surgical removal of a woman's external genitalia, and in some cases the stitching shut of the entire vaginal opening. It is illegal to arrange and perform FGM in Britain, where the crime carries up to a 14-year prison sentence.
Model Waris Dirie, who was herself mutilated as a child and is adamantly opposed to FGM, has said that race plays a critical role in the ongoing battle against the procedure. Says Dirie,
If a white girl is abused, the police come break down the door. If a black girl is mutilated, nobody takes care of her. This is what I call racism.
Investigators from the London paper secretly filmed a doctor, a dentist, and an alternative medical practitioner who were all allegedly willing to perform FGM and arrange for the procedures to be carried out. Both the doctor and dentist have denied any wrongdoing.