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New FGM reporting duty in England and Wales

12 November 2015

A new duty to report female genital mutilation (FGM) to the Police has come into force.

Osteopaths must report cases of female genital mutilation to the police

A new duty to report female genital mutilation (FGM) to the Police has come into force. This applies in England and Wales to all health professionals, including osteopaths.

Under this new duty an osteopath is required to report FGM, if they discover in the course of their working day that FGM has been carried out on a girl either by:

  • disclosure by the victim herself, or
  • observing physical signs that suggest that FGM has been undertaken.

The duty applies to cases involving girls who are under 18 at the time the FGM is disclosed or observed. Any report should be made to the non-emergency number of the Police (101) by the end of the next working day. 

The duty does not apply if an osteopath only suspects that FGM has been carried out, or where the woman is over 18.

The Government has published guidance on the new duty, which provides further information, and additional resources for all health professionals on how to comply.