Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid
Supporting Women and Girls Survivors of FGM
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is illegal in England, yet, cases of FGM are rising and Birmingham has the highest FGM rate out of any city in the United Kingdom. As of October 2017, there were only 16 specialist FGM clinics throughout the whole of the UK. Women and girls who are at risk of or have been subjected to FGM are facing many barriers to access support, medical help and prevention due to lack of awareness, training and services.
Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid (BSWA)’s mission is to support women and children affected by domestic violence, rape and sexual assault. Their one-to-one, tailored support services deliver long-term and positive outcomes for women and their children by addressing all of their needs including poverty, debt, homelessness, housing, legal issues, health and wellbeing. Over 20,457 women and 14,976 children were supported by BSWA in 2010-2021.
Between 2016 and 2020, the Kering Foundation provided funding to cover activities of BSWA’s project in preventing FGM and improving services for FGM survivors. Specific outcomes included:
• Specialized FGM support reaching women survivors within affected communities and supporting their individual needs.
• FGM prevention through community engagement involving recruiting, training and supporting community champions to raise awareness within affected communities and schools.
• Better support to women survivors through increased knowledge and understanding of FGM among medical and other key professionals.
At the end of the project period, thanks to a fundraising event, the Kering Foundation provided additional funds to BSWA to cover project costs for another year.
Since 2017, the project supported 465 FGM survivors, reached 920 members of affected communities and 1,087 young people through community awareness raising sessions.
In that same period, 74 training sessions were delivered to 1,261 medical, and other key professionals.
"I no longer feel isolated, and my physical health has improved since my contact with Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid. I can now look towards the future and plan to enroll in college"
shared a FGM survivor, beneficiary of the project.