Survivors of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) will take centre stage at Walsall Manor Hospital next month in an event to raise awareness of the practice and signpost women to the support that is available.
Members of Moolaade, (Everyone’s Child), FGM Support Group in Walsall, have arranged the event in partnership with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust on Tuesday 6 February, the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM.
Moolaade, which meets on the last Friday of every month at Sure Start Palfrey Children’s Centre, offers a support network to women who have been affected by FGM. It raises awareness of the practice and works with healthcare professionals, the police, children’s services and charitable groups to create a better understanding of how to approach women who have experienced FGM.
Tigui Konte, the founder of Moolaade, who is also a Student Nurse with Walsall Healthcare, said the information-sharing event, from 11am-2pm, was aimed at bringing a difficult topic out into the open.
“Survivors will be in the main atrium of the hospital ready to talk to anyone who wants to find out more about the practice of FGM, anyone who is scared, anyone who wants know the best way to support those who have gone through FGM and anyone who wonders how to move forward,” she explained.
“I have felt victimised and stigmatised and felt there was no support for me as a woman because of what was done to me but attitudes and behaviours are changing; survivors are helping to shape that change and it is so important that others receive this message.”
The event will highlight the protection, prevention and safeguarding work that is going on in Walsall and beyond with partners and raise awareness of FGM Protection Orders which safeguard women and girls feared to be at risk. These can be sought by anyone who has had or is at risk of FGM, a local authority or any other person with the permission of the court (for example, the police, a teacher, a charity or a family member).
Walsall Healthcare has clinics for pregnant women who have experienced FGM. And Linda Hayes, Cervical Screening Outreach Nurse at the Trust will do home visits to women who are unable to access GP appointments because of a trauma or assault that makes them particularly anxious about medical examinations.