“I felt like I had been raped”. A survivor of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) recalls the extremely traumatizing experience of being surgically treated by a health professional in Belgium without having understood the aim of the procedure correctly due to language and cultural barriers.
Over 600.000 women and girls in Europe live with the consequences of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). Although they are entitled to expert care and quality treatment, support services are often inadequate and under-resourced. Health professionals lack awareness, training and cultural sensitivity on how to treat FGM, while language barriers still impede FGM survivors to reach out to available support services.
European governments must act now! More funding has to be spent towards holistic care services that respond adequately to the physical, psychological, emotional, social, sexual and spiritual needs of FGM survivors, overcoming legal and cultural barriers.
Dealing with the consequences of FGM can be harsh, let’s not leave FGM survivors alone. Have a look at the infographic to learn about the 7 steps to support FGM survivors, or read the End FGM Position Paper.
Follow the campaign at #BehindEndingFGM @endfgmeuropeannetwork