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Show you are taking a stand against FGM

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red triangle pin, stop FGM, police, Freedom charity, new campaignNo local authority in the UK is unaffected by FGM.

To mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation the National Police Chiefs’ Council and the Freedom charity have launched a national campaign featuring a red triangle.

The aim is to encourage people to provide the police with information that can help them detect and prevent FGM in the UK and abroad.

An estimated 137,000 women and girls are affected by FGM in England and Wales, and worldwide 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation.

Not only as a nation but as human beings we must be serious – and show we are serious – about combating this globally.

Carrying out Female Genital Mutilation for no medical reason is a deplorable crime which violates girls and women’s human rights.

It is a degrading practice that violates women’s rights to control their own body and sexuality sd it deprives women of their rights to basic health, freedom and their human rights to be women.

When carried out on children it is child abuse.

In all cases it is cruel and it must be stopped.

The Red Triangle Campaign aims to help eradicate Female Genital Mutilation FGM/C in a generation.

This month-long campaign involves purchasing and wearing a small downward facing red triangle to symbolise solidarity against Female Genital Mutilation.

Money raised from buying the Red Triangle pin – which costs £1 – will enable the distribution of ‘Cut Flowers‘, an educational novel written for Freedom charity to inform schoolchildren and teachers about FGM.

Funds from The Red Triangle campaign will provide schools throughout the UK with copies of the book, along with the PSHE Association accredited lesson plans that accompany the book.

Education and awareness is vital for fighting FGM, so please help the Red Triangle Campaign by getting involved.

Community groups play a vital part in the plan to end Female Genital Mutilation.

Freedom has already worked with the Women’s Institute where many talented women have knitted amazing red triangles, and some of the women have started to crochet red triangles too, which can be worn on the lapel.

Freedom Charity are working with Knit and Natter groups – and this has proved to be a great opportunity to raise awareness.

And more than 13,000 posters promoting the Red Triangle initiative have been distributed to police forces to display inside police buildings and in appropriate community settings.

Commander Mak Chishty, the police’s national lead on “honour”-based violence, has written to every police force in the country reminding them that while progress has been made, there is yet to be a successful prosecution for FGM.

He wrote: “This is a particular area of political and public scrutiny and I would urge each force to maximise every opportunity to demonstrate that we as a service are doing everything that is possible to combat FGM.”

His letter also cited a prevalence study published in July 2015 by City University and Equality Now, the human rights group, which showed that no local authority in the UK was unaffected by FGM.

Police leads have been asked to evaluate the campaign’s impact by monitoring any increased reporting, receipt of intelligence or new engagement opportunities.

And Chishty told the Guardian: “We are raising awareness that FGM is a crime and that anybody involved in the process – from turning a blind eye to the act of cutting – commits a criminal offence. This is form of child abuse and violence against women and girls.”

If you want to take part in the red triangle campaign, please contact the Freedom charity.

If you need help, you can call the Freedom helpline on 0845 607 0133.

For other help options, click here.

You can also text for help: text the words 4freedom to 88802.

If you are in immediate danger, please call the police on 999.

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