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London (CNN) – Some schoolgirls in the United Kingdom have been pressured by their peers into undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM), according to FGM survivor and campaigner Leyla Hussein, Britain’s Press Association reported.
Hussein, who founded the Dahlia Project in 2013 to help other survivors, said that she has spoken with many young women who say they feel vulnerable to becoming a victim to a crime that is still seen by many as a cultural practice or tradition, rather than a violent sexual offense, PA said.
Some of my clients are 19-year-old girls now who were children or were born in this (country) and they will say to you they were pressured in a playground in a school in London to go and have it done,” she said.
Hussein was speaking ahead of the announcement Friday that US and UK law enforcement agencies have signed a proclamation in which they pledge to improve intelligence sharing around FGM in a bid to better identify victims and perpetrators.
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Number of Women and Girls At Risk: 25,000
Status: Existing Legislation Needs Strengthening
Improve by adding: Prosecuting parents/guardian, felony offense