Thousands of victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) have been identified in England in the past year.
An NHS Digital report has revealed 6,590 cases were brought to light between April 2019 and March 2020, of whom 475 were known to have endured the procedure at under one-year-old.
The total number of identified cases has risen from 6,490 in 2018/19 and 6,265 in 2017/18.
FGM refers to any procedure that intentionally alters or causes injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It is carried out for various cultural, religious and social purposes, with many communities mistakenly believing the procedure prepares a girl for marriage.
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