Spotlight on FGM - February 2022

Having trouble reading this email? Click here to view in browser

SP logo

February 2022: Spotlight on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

This newsletter is for everyone working with children and adults in Waltham Forest.

Please share with your colleagues and encourage them to sign up to get it regularly

What is FGM?

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but there is no medical reason for this to be done.

It's also known as female circumcision or cutting. FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts.

It's illegal in the UK and considered to be a serious form of child abuse. It's very painful and can seriously harm the health of women and girls.

It can also cause long-term problems with sex, childbirth and mental health.

Find out more about FGM

Help and support for FGM

If you or someone you know is at immediate risk, call 999 or 112 (from a mobile) for the Police.

Local Support Services:

  • Solace Women’s Aid: 07340 683382
  • Lotus Clinic (Whipps Cross Hospital): 07949 075814

National / London Support Services:

  • Project Azure, Metropolitan Police: 020 7161 2888
  • NSPCC Female Genital Mutilation: (FGM) helpline 0800 028 3550
  • FORWARD, FGM Specialists: 020 89604000 or email:
  • Daughters of Eve, FGM Specialists: 07983 030 488 or 07961797173

Information for those at risk of FGM are available in a variety of community languages. 

Email for more info

Marking International Day of No Tolerance for FGM

Hibo Wardere

On 6 February, Walthamstow-based FGM activist and writer Hibo Wardere hosted an online event to mark the International Day for No Tolerance of FGM.

She was joined by the following guest speakers:

  • Cllr Grace Williams, leader of Waltham Forest Council
  • Suleiman Hashi, Somali born male activist against female genital mutilation who has made a huge difference educating men & boys on this cruel practice
  • Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime
  • Kirsty Brimelow QC, Human Rights Lawyer, Doughty Street Chambers
  • Jeanette Arnold OBE, anti-FGM activist and former chair of the London Assembly

All speakers underlined the importance of awareness-raising on the topic of FGM.

The following training, on 17 Feb at 2pm, is available for professionals and practitioners who wish to learn more:

Ashiana FGM training

Seeking members for VAWG Advisory Panel

Waltham Forest's Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) team are looking for women in our community to join a newly-formed VAWG Advisory panel.

The Advisory Panel will be responsible for providing consultation to strengthen the survivor-centred approach to VAWG initiatives, programs, and services in Waltham Forest.

The panel requires members to be available for consultation as well as a commitment to a minimum of four meetings a year over a two-year period. The anticipated start date is March 2022, with a four week team building program. 

Applications to join the panel are open to individuals with a close connection to Waltham Forest, with experience of gender-based violence. Gender-based violence includes domestic and sexual violence, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence, stalking and / or harassment, coercion, emotional and spiritual abuse, and FGM.

Register your interest 

Safe Spaces Neighbourhoods Project

Waltham Forest VAWG team are developing a new community-based project which aims to bring support closer to survivors and help them to reach specialist services quickly and easily.

The team is working with gyms, libraries, and other community settings to become ‘safe spaces’ and to provide appropriate responses to disclosures with signposting to services. 

This will include work in a range of community settings to encourage women to seek support and help through education and awareness-raising. We want to make services and support accessible to women from all communities, all faiths, and all cultural groups.

Email for details

Fighting street-based sexual harrassment

The VAWG team is working to tackle street-based sexual harrassment after a survey of more than 650 women in June 2021 outlined the scale of the issue in Waltham Forest.

In order to do this, the council is working with Stop Hate UK to develop a smartphone app that will allow quicker, easier and anonymous reporting of incidents.

Details for reporting harrassment can be found on webpage below:

Waltham Forest Stop Hate UK

In other news...


Sign up for online 'Support for Carers' training

On Wednesday 23 February 2022, 9.30am to 11.30am

This is an opportunity for frontline practitioners and managers to learn about the support available for unpaid carers in Waltham Forest, co-delivered by Waltham Forest Council and Carers First.

The session will cover:

  • Carers strategy
  • Universal offer
  • Young carers offer
  • Adults carers 
  • Parent carers
  • Q&A session

This newsletter is brought to you by the Strategic Partnership Boards, which is made up of Waltham Forest Safeguarding Children’s Board, Safeguarding Adults Board, Health & Wellbeing Board and SafetyNet (our Community Safety Partnership).

SP banner

Choose which emails I receive

Want to stop getting emails from Waltham Forest Council? Unsubscribe.

Privacy Policy

Contact us