The Home Office has published multi-agency practice guidelines outlining the responsibility of each professional in protecting girls and women from FGM. Following consultation, these guidelines will become statutory in 2016. The guidelines clarify that local authorities, LSCBs and other frontline professionals should actively work and engage with local communities affected by FGM.
FGM can be deeply embedded in communities. Ensuring abandonment requires long-term work with communities to achieve attitude change.
The National FGM Centre can provide tailored community intervention packages for local authorities to achieve long-term systems and attitude change.
Attitude change cannot be brought about solely through legislation. It is vital to understand the reasons behind persistent support for FGM and to work within affected communities to challenge myths and change minds. Our work in this area involves:
Rapid peer research to understand community attitudes around FGM and design effective prevention strategies,
Recruiting, training and supporting local change agents,
Building the capacity of community organisations to effect change and bridging the gap between affected communities and local authorities