BY VALENTYNA HOLLOWAY
She’s young, a child, vulnerable and innocent. She is held down. Fear overtakes her. She cries, perhaps screams, she doesn’t understand, it is beyond her comprehension. Her external genitalia are then cut. Mutilated. The ones she trusts the most, who gave her life, who should protect her life at all costs -they are the ones consenting to this.
This is Female Genital Mutilation.
Where are the feminists? The women who stood up and marched in the women’s marches held all over the world. The endless sea of women – and the men that came to show support? Where are the celebrities? The politicians? The public figures? The solidarity in a tsunami of support to the victims, to the potential victims?
Why the silence?
The subject, Female Genital Mutilation or FGM as it has been shortened to. To date there have been few prosecutions and no convictions brought in the United Kingdom.
Worldwide statistics show 130 million women are living with the impact of FGM and each year another three million girls are at risk of being cut in Africa alone. This however isn’t Africa. This isn’t a foreign country. This is our own soil, where this procedure is illegal.
The Female Genital Mutilation Act was passed in 2003, yet in the fourteen years that have passed there have been no convictions. How is this possible? According to research by the Orchid Project there are 22,000 girls at risk in the United Kingdom. How is it that no cases of this barbaric and horrific abuse are prosecuted?
Rape, incest, physical abuse, sexual abuse, torture, a smack on the bottom, a bruise – all are questioned and such cases are regularly investigated and turned over to the CPS post-haste. Surely the UK authorities would investigate and prosecute FGM cases — or would they?
On the evening of the 26th February, West Midlands Police issued this Tweet:
There is something off with all of this.
This is not Islamophobia, this is not racism, just because some racial-religious cultures practise this horrific crime. This is the welfare of a child. There can be no turning a blind eye to this abuse, action has to be taken to protect the innocent. If the parents won’t do it then isn’t it up to the community, to law enforcement to uphold the laws of this country and protect our children.
There is no happily ever after for a child scarred by genital mutilation, there is no happy family unit. What kind of family life is there for a girl who has undergone such terror, but Heaven forbid we upset the apple cart and prosecute the parents who allow this to happen to their young vulnerable daughters.
This conspiracy of silence needs light shed on it. We as a society must not be tolerant of this practice of cutting female external genitalia. We must not be tolerant. We must uphold the law equally to all. Sex, race, religion, none of these are important. Everyone wants equality, start here.
Where is the petition. Sign me up for the Women’s March. Let me retweet the celebrity standing up for this heinous crime. Let’s fill the streets in support of these young girls who have no control over “their best interests”.
Silence is not golden.
Silence is frightening.