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Two girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) have had court orders granted that will see anyone trying to make them undergo the procedure jailed for up to five years. South Yorkshire Police said they were put in place to prevent the girls from from Rotherham, from having the procedure carried out in the UK or abroad

Detective Inspector Suzanne Jackson said FGM protection orders were “a powerful and preventative means of protecting” girls.

Anyone breaking the orders will face up to five years in prison, she added.

“It is a serious and violent crime, which we want to prevent happening, to safeguard victims from a lifetime of physical and psychological damage,” she said. “Harmful cultural practices are sadly still continuing in countries where this is seen as normal. Parents are often faced with family and community pressure and isolation if they don’t comply with FGM and mothers themselves have been victims as children.

“Our aim is to intervene and ensure that this cycle of abuse does not continue.”

The orders were introduced by laws that make it illegal to perform or commission FGM, in the UK or abroad – even in a country where the practice is legal.

But there have not yet been any successful prosecutions under the law and police are aiming to use the orders to prevent offences being committed, amid education campaigns hoping to stop the practice.

Det Insp Jackson said the orders on the two Rotherham girls will be monitored by partner agencies, to ensure the children are protected and sanctions are put in place if they are violated.

They were granted by Sheffield Family Court amid a nationwide awareness campaign launched by the government on FGM, which remains an under-reported crime.

As many as 100,000 women and girls in the UK are estimated to have undergone the illegal procedure, but a fraction of that number have disclosed it to the NHS. Read more

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