A new FBI investigation shows that more than 500 000 women and girls in the USA are at risk of being a victim to the cruel procedure.
Despite being illegal since 1996, roughly 513 000 women were subjected to FGM recently according to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That is more than three times higher than previous studies from 1990 show.
Especially girls under the age of 18 are at a higher risk to become a victim of FGM, the number has increased by more than four times, which makes them one-third of potential victims.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation the procedure is conducted by both by medical practitioners and female elders within the communities. Girls and women at risk generally live in major urban areas such as New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Washington D.C.
Investigators hope that victims of FGM and community members who are opposed to it will come forward and report cases. Unfortunately this happens only on rare occasions, since most states don’t have their own laws criminalizing FGM. Therefore many people don’t know that it is a federal violation.
In order to stop FGM it is important to make people aware of the current situation and to spread the message: FGM is a worldwide problem and a crime!