Diversity. It’s just well. Bloody awful.
More than 2,000 victims of female genital mutilation have sought treatment at London hospitals in the past three years.
The figures, revealed by the Standard today, are the most dramatic illustration so far of the impact of the barbaric practice in the capital. They also show that 298 operations to reverse unlawful “cutting” of London women have been carried out.
Hundreds of others have received treatment in an attempt to ease their pain. Cases include one girl with an “open wound” and at least 12 more involving children. The statistics have been drawn from Freedom of Information requests to seven London hospital trusts with specialist services for FGM victims. They represent the most comprehensive measure yet of the problem. A total of 2,115 FGM patients were seen between 2010 and summer this year.
Only moderately comprehensive. It doesn’t begin to take into account the number of girls who sought treatment at non-specialist hospitals or who were never allowed to seek treatment at all.
But just by way of contrast, London had around 100 persons murdered last year and it has somewhere around 2,000 rapes a year.
Doctors and campaigners said the findings were “horrifying” and called for a renewed drive by police, prosecutors and others to bring perpetrators of the crime to justice. But they warned that the reluctance of some women to seek treatment, and flaws in hospital record-keeping, including the lack of a specific code to identify FGM cases, meant that the true number of victims was certain to be even higher.
No amount of drives will help. This isn’t the usual sort of crime. It’s culture. It’s religion. And just like terrorism, it’s not something you can get rid of with another campaign like smoking.
This is what the UK has imported and it has to take a long hard look at that.